American businessman, Ericchose to live in California for its climate and natural beauty. Art lover and self-taught historian, he has been a collector of 19th century French paintings for 25 years. Determined to take his passion for 19th century art to the next level, in 2016, he founded Gallery 19C in Los Angeles, a gallery dedicated to 19th century European paintings.
Eric is especially fascinated with the audacity and creativity of the 19th century French masters, who in a few decades, as they explored and pushed art forward, moved beyond the traditions of the old masters to the new world of Modern art. This duality between tradition and innovation throughout the 19th century is also of great interest to him. Stylistically, he is drawn to the 19th century traditional artists for their commitment to the academic teachings, technical virtuosity and quality of their art.
As an amateur historian, Eric knows that it is equally important to understand the developments in the art world in the context of the world around it. 19th century France is especially fascinating for its numerous political revolutions, as well as its socio-economic and technological advances. Eric enjoys Émile Friant for his respect of the traditions and uncompromising opposition to academic norms that get in the way of his artistic process. Friant likes to paint peasants, workers and the less fortunate, as well as his friends and the middle class. Eric is attracted to Friant’s humanity and his ability to paint individuals, who almost always evoke an emotional response from the viewer.
Translated from French to English by Ms Agnès Penot