Oil on canvas, 5.5 x 11.75 inches / Signed lower left
Diehl was born in London, England, where his father was the director of an Opera company and his mother was not only an accomplished pianist but a writer of romance novels. As a youth he spent many hours copying works at the National Gallery and British Museum. At age 15 he went to Milan, Italy and studied under Luigi Steffani. Two years after his return to London, one of his paintings was accepted at the Royal Academy. In 1893 Diehl immigrated to New York City, just as one of the worst depressions in American history struck. He made ends meet by painting and selling copies of European art in addition to singing, acting, directing and playing music. His first wife had died after arriving in New York and it was through his second wife that he met John and Lionel Barrymore, the famous theatrical family, whose traveling troupe he joined for a short time. By this time Diehl had been living in New Jersey and “post-traveling troupe” opened studios variously in Englewood Cliffs, Lakewood and Asbury Park between 1905 and 1913. Circa 1912 Diehl began summering Truro, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, which ultimately became his full-time home. Summers were spent in nearby Provincetown, Rhode Island. Diehl maintained studio at both locations, where he became best known for his dunescapes and beach and harbor scenes of Cape Cod. He maintained a winter studio in Hartford, Connecticut circa 1925. During the 1920s Saint Augustine, Florida was becoming popular with many of the Provincetown artists and he spent summers there from 1921 to 1923. A Cape Cod fixture and known for his rapid execution of paintings from memory, Diehl was the subject of a 1921 Fox Movietone series “short”. His finely detailed paintings belie the speed at which Diehl executed the works, often while engaged in conversation. Diehl was never represented by art dealers and sold his paintings to residents and tourists where he had his studios.