1864 (Nuremberg, Bavaria, Germany)
1949 (Carmel, California)
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Often Known For
marine, seascape, landscape, figure painting
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The California Art Club
Painters of Grand Canyon
San Francisco Panama-Pacific Exhibition 1915
|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|Born in Nuremberg, Germany on July 11, 1864. Ritschel was educated at the Latin and Industrial School in Nuremberg. As a youth he worked as a sailor and it was during this time that he began sketching marine subjects. He studied art at the Royal Academy in Munich under Raupp and Kaulbach before immigrating to NYC in 1895. In 1911 he settled in Carmel, CA while continuing to exhibit on the East Coast and in Europe. His paintings of the sea earned him international acclaim and in 1914 he was elected a member of the National Academy. In 1918 he began construction on his ocean view studio-home in the Carmel Highlands. This castle-like stone structure was to remain his home for the rest of his life except for trips throughout the world, especially the South Seas where he frequently visited. Oldtimers on the Monterey Peninsula remember him garbed in a flowered sarong and perched on a cypress-covered cliff with brushes and easel. Ritschel died at his Carmel home on March 11, 1949. Member: NY WC Club; American WC Society; Carmel AA; Bohemian Club; Société Internationale des Beaux Arts et des Lettres (Paris); Academy of Western Painters (LA); Allied AA; NAC. Exh: SFAA, 1911; NAD, 1913 (prize), 1921 (prize), 1926; NAC, 1914 (gold medal); PPIE, 1915 (gold medal); Calif. State Fair, 1916 (gold medal), 1926 (1st prize); Philadelphia Arts Club, 1918 (gold medal); Calif. WC Society, 1921-23; Salmagundi Club, 1923 (Isador prize), 1930; AIC, 1923 (prize); Royal Academy, 1924; Paris Salon, 1926; Stendahl Gallery (LA), 1929; Santa Cruz Art League, 1937; GGIE, 1939; Biltmore Salon (LA), 1944. In: NAC; NMAA; Monterey Peninsula Museum; PAFA; Oakland Museum; Fort Worth Museum; St Louis Museum; Bowers Museum (Santa Ana); Detroit Art Club; AIC; LACMA; Minneapolis Museum; Crocker Museum (Sacramento); Irvine (CA) Museum; Orange Co. (CA) Museum.|
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
American Art Annual 1919-33; Who's Who in American Art 1936-47; NY Times, 3-13-1949 (obituary).
|Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.|
|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|Best known as a marine and coastal landscape painter who captured the varying moods of the water, William Ritschel was an eccentric who dressed in flowered sarong and perched on cypress-covered cliffs in California with brushes and easel.|
He was born in Nuremberg, Bavaria, Germany, and was educated at the Latin and Industrial School in Nuremberg. As a young man, he roamed the sea as a merchant seaman, and reflected on canvas what he saw and experienced. He studied at the Royal Academy in Munich as the pupil of F Kaulbach and C Raupp and earned great renown in Europe for his paintings.
In 1895, he emigrated to New York City and from there was nationally recognized for his marine subjects. He was closely associated with Childe Hassam, J. Alden Weir, Edward Redfield, and Willard Metcalf, and others who were pursuing the Impressionist style of painting. He joined the Salmagundi Club and the New York Watercolor Society.
Beginning in 1901, he traveled the West including Arizona where he painted The Grand Canyon and scenes of Navajo country. In 1911, he settled in Carmel, California, where in 1918, he built a studio-home called The Castle, overlooking the ocean. He lived there the remainder of his life, although he frequently traveled including to the South Seas.
He exhibited extensively in the East as well as the West Coast and in 1914, recognized for his marine subjects, was elected a member of the National Academy in New York City.
Doris Dawdy, Artists of the American West, Volume III
Edan Hughes, Artists in California, 1786-1940
|Biography from Edenhurst Gallery (Artists M to Z):|
|William Frederic Ritschel was a California Impressionist painter who was born in Nuremberg, Germany in 1864. He studied art at the Royal Academy in Munich before emigrating to New York City in 1895. Much of his young life was spent at sea, and it was here that he was imbued with the wonder of the ocean in all of it turgidly beautiful moods. |
His career as an artist was almost exclusively devoted to capturing the sea with its many personalities, mostly in its mode of surf crashing against the rocky coast of the Monterey Peninsula in northern California that was to him so beloved. Here, on the rocky cliffs he built a home called "Castellammare", named for an Italian seaport town south of Naples, and was seen often in his sarong perched high in the gnarled branches of the Monterey cypresses and pines, ever studying the ocean in its many temperaments.
Ritschel settled in Carmel in 1911, becoming one of the first artists to establish residence there subsequent to the devastating earthquake in San Francisco in 1906.
Ritschel's paintings of the sea were well received from coast to coast, and he participated in many exhibitions from San Francisco to New York, including the Panama Pacific Exposition in 1915, the National Academy of Design, and the Salmagundi Club.
He died in Carmel in 1949 leaving a wonderful legacy of the sea in his brilliant canvases.
|Biography from The Caldwell Gallery - I:|
|William Ritschel attended the Royal Academy of Munich for six years before immigrating to the U.S. in 1895 and eventually settled in California by 1911. Ritschel won international acclaim for his sea paintings and was exhibiting frequently by 1914. Ritschel took many trips to the South Seas and drew on both his technical training as an artist as well as his experiences as a sailor. His reputation was built on his expressive treatment of the sea, such as in the painting “Rocks and Breakers”.|
In 1918 Ritschel constructed a stone studio-home in Carmel Heights CA, overlooking the Pacific Ocean which provided continual inspiration throughout his artistic career. He held a one-man exhibition in 1931 in Oakland and later in Los Angeles in 1942. Ritschel used light to capture the conflict between sun and fog. He continued to paint until his death in 1949.
|Biography from William A. Karges Fine Art - Carmel:|
|William Ritschel was born in Nurmberg, where he was educated at the|
Latin and Industrial School. Ritschel studied art at the Royal Academy in
Munich where he excelled at painting the sea, something he had begun
sketching years earlier while working on merchant ships. Ritchel
immigrated to New York in 1895, and nearly fifteen years later settled in
Carmel, California. He continued to exhibit his marine paintings in New
York, and in 1918 was elected to the National Academy of Design.
Ritschel never went far from the sea for inspiration. He built a home on a
bluff near Carmel, and was a frequent sight on the rocks and beaches
|Biography from Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site:|
|William (or Wilhelm) Frederick Ritschel was an American painter who was born in Nuremberg, Germany on July 11, 1864. Most of Ritschel's paintings were of marine subject matter, except for sketching trips he took to the Southwest. Ritschel was educated at the Latin and Industrial School in Nuremberg. He studied art at the Royal Academy in Munich under Karl Raupp and Friedrich Kaulbach before emigrating to New York City in 1895. As a youth he worked as a sailor, and it was during this time that he began sketching marine subjects.|
In 1911, he settled in Carmel, California while continuing to exhibit on the East Coast and in Europe. His paintings of the sea earned him international acclaim and in 1914 he was elected a member of the National Academy of Design in New York City. In 1918 he began construction on his ocean view studio-home in the Carmel Highlands. This castle-like stone structure was to remain his home for the rest of his life except for trips throughout the world, especially the South Seas, where he frequently visited. Old timers on the Monterey Peninsula remember him garbed in a flowered sarong and perched on a cypress-covered cliff with brushes and easel. He died at his Carmel home on March 11, 1949.
Ritschel was a member of the National Arts Club in New York, the New York Watercolor Club, American Watercolor Society, San Francisco Art Association, Carmel Art Association, Bohemian Club, Salmagundi Club, Union Nationale des Beaux Arts et des Lettres in Paris, Academy of Western Painters in Los Angeles, Allied Art Association and Watercolor Society. His works of art have been exhibited at the San Francisco Art Association in 1911, Paris Salon in 1926, Royal Academy in 1924 and GGIE in 1939, to name a few.
He received numerous awards for his paintings from 1913 until his death. Ritschel's artworks are held in the collections of National Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C.; Monterey Peninsula Museum of Art, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art in Philadelphia, Art Institute of Chicago, Fort Worth Museum, St. Louis Art Museum, Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California; Detroit Art Club, Smithsonian Institute, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Minneapolis Art Museum, the Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site and National Arts Club in New York.
Dawdy, Doris Ostrander. Artists of the American West: A Biographical Dictionary.  3 vols. Chicago: Swallow Press. 1985.
Fielding, Mantle. Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors and Engravers. Ed. by Glenn B. Optiz. New York: Apollo Book. 1986.
Hughes, Edan Milton. Artists in California: 1786-1940. San Francisco: Hughes Publishing Company. 1986.
Samuels, Peggy and Harold. Samuels' Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West. New Jersey: Castle. 1985.
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