Louis Ritter (1854-1892)

Louis Ritter (1854-1892)

Landscape painter and lithographer Louis Ritter was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and received his early training at the McMicken School of Design between 1873 and 1874.  He later traveled to Munich to paint with the charismatic artist Frank Duveneck. Ritter followed Duveneck to Florence and Venice, but by 1883, perhaps following friends Theodore Wendel and Charles Mills, Ritter came to Boston and took a studio at 12 West Street. He began to teach in Boston and at Wellesley College, while painting landscapes along the north shore. 

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Ritter led a peripatetic lifestyle; after several years in Boston he was back in Europe, this time in Giverny. With fellow painters John Leslie Breck, Willard Metcalf, Theodore Robinson and Theodore Wendel, he was part of the first colony of American artists to paint there. After the summer he joined Duveneck in Italy, returning to Boston in 1889 or 1890. In the early months of 1892 he fell ill with cancer of the liver, and he died at City Hospital on February 24, 1892. One friend summed up his gentle nature: “Louis Ritter was a lovable and beautiful character, an artist of fine attainments and of unusual promise. Poetic in temperament, a fine musician as well as painter, genial, humorous, a faithful teacher and sincere friend.” The St. Botolph Club held a memorial exhibition of Ritter’s work, and accepted into their holdings his large and impressive work, Valley of the Seine from Giverny Heights

Reference:  See Who Was Who In American Art (1999). 

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