Charles Fries (1854-1940)
Charles Fries was born in Hillsboro, Ohio, in 1854. Studying in Cincinnati, was in good company, as his fellow classmates at the McMicken Art Academy included J.H. Twachtman and Frank Duvanek.
Seeking work as an illustrator and portrait painter, Fries moved to New York at the age of 17, where he stayed for 5 years before continuing his studies in Paris. While in Paris, his works were highly acclaimed. Returning to the states in 1887, Fries married and moved to a farm in Vermont, from which he contributed illustrations to New York publications.
Moving to California, legend has it the Fries family at one time lived in the ruins of the San Juan Capistrano Mission. A prolific artist with a keen eye for the atmospheric conditions of the San Diego area, Charles Fries concentrated on often muted depictions of the arid deserts and hills of southern California. Known as the “Dean of San Diego Painters” Charles Fries died in that city in 1940.