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    Description

    Louis Ritman (American, 1889-1963)
    Sunspots
    Oil on canvas
    32 x 39-1/2 inches (81.3 x 100.3 cm)
    Signed lower left: L. Ritman

    PROVENANCE:
    R.H. Love Galleries, Chicago, Illinois;
    Kamp Gallery, Winnetka, Illinois;
    The Greenberg Gallery, St. Louis, Missouri;
    Signature Galleries, Chicago, Illinois.

    EXHIBITED:
    H.F. Johnson Gallery of Art, Carthage College, Kenosha, Wisconsin, November 5-26, 1976;
    Signature Galleries, Chicago, Illinois, "The paintings of Louis Ritman (1889-1963)," 1975.

    Louis Ritman ranks among esteemed Impressionists Childe Hassam, Frederick Frieseke and Richard Miller, and Sunspots is emblematic of the artist's unique brand of American Impressionism. His impastoed application of paint and sumptuous use of color create a sense of the movement of light on the sitter's figure, and on the immediacy of the moment, a solitary woman caught in inward reflection. This subject was a recurring one in Ritman's work. David Dearinger remarks: "By 1912, he was painting what quickly became his characteristic subject matter: a young woman, sometimes nude, seated or reclining in an interior or out-of-doors" (Masterworks of American Impressionism from the Pfeil Collection, Alexandria, Virginia, 1992, p. 222).

    The subtlety of Ritman's approach to light and color is evident in Sunspots. His palette is softened, not as keyed-up as some of his American contemporaries in Giverny, who preferred to emulate the ebullient canvases of Claude Monet. The pinks, blues, whites and nude tones that capture this intimate moment are gentler than the excited reds and oranges of, for example, Frieseke's garden pictures, or even Ritman's own flower pictures, resulting in an overall sense of soft ethereality.

    Ritman's subdued depiction of a solitary moment underscores his affection for "the depiction of an attractive young female in an intimate setting" (R.H. Love, Louis Ritman: From Chicago to Giverny, Chicago, Illinois, 1989, p. 154). Pioneered by Dutch artists like Vermeer and adopted by American Impressionists, among others. The American version, Ritman's version of intimism, "was...quiet, reserved, and above all, discreet, never outside the parameters of the genteel tradition" (Louis Ritman: From Chicago to Giverny, p. 155). The woman's sensual gaze placid repose relate directly to the introspection and restfulness of an intimate moment, away from the increasingly bustling modern world of early-1900s Paris.
    Property from the Estate of Bettina Ann Brumbaugh, Plano, Texas




    Condition Report*: Unlined canvas; Stretcher bars lined with duct tape; Craquelure throughout , with concentrated lifting and a 1/4 inch loss most noticeable in the lower left quadrant; tiny 1/4 inch flakes of loss concentrated around edges and corners; Under UV light, some pigments fluoresce.
    Framed Dimensions 38.5 X 46 Inches
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2020
    3rd Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,446

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