Wood Interior is one of the largest images from a series of paintings by Narcisse Virgile Diaz de la Peña representing a lush forest densely populated with clusters of old, gnarled trees opening onto a sunlit clearing. Diaz de la Peña was a leading figure of the Barbizon movement, a group of artists who focused on landscapes and scenes of rural life in the south of France. Rejecting traditional compositional principles of landscape painting that followed concepts of an idealized rather than an actual landscape, as well as academic practices of religious or historical painting, Barbizon artists sought more personalized modes of creativity; they were concerned with naturalistic and spontaneous renderings of nature. Particularly attentive to the natural effects of light, they also painted with individualistic, textured brushwork, as Diaz de la Peña does in Wood Interior. Here the artist presents a private experience of nature in which the spectator, at ground level and enveloped within the thick undergrowth, eyes the clearing through the archway of dark, twisting oaks. For Diaz de la Peña, landscape painting was a medium of subjective experience and private rumination that invoked an individual mood and state of mind, signifying a focus on individuality and the search for individual freedoms in contrast to established conventions of the mid-nineteenth century.