At the time of admiring the old classics, from baroque aggressiveness to cluttered Rococo decorations, the brief neoclassical chapter of the early 19th century was the most esthetically close in its simplicity with modern sensibilities.
No, I didn’t read “pride and prejudice” until a decade later. It was through Jacques-Louis David and later Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres how that period rivaled other artistic attitudes. Of course, François Boucher and Jean-Honoré Fragonard with their frivolous use of color were a guilty pleasure.
I wanted to be influenced by the stern, collected, neo-classicals but the Ancien Régime sensuality with pastels and unabashed glorification of the most common pleasures of this Earth (if you could afford it) marked my art more than the academic obedience to drawing.
Instead of expressing my actual era, I took refuge in creating an escape to another time, in the most romanticized version of the past.