Early Morning Sunshine

Louis Ritman (American, 1889-1963)

Currently on View in K208
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  • This painting presents one of Ritman’s favorite motifs—a boudoir with a loosely draped young woman at an open window. In this rendition, the window reveals a backdrop of brilliant foliage that contrasts with the softer touch Ritman used to portray the model. This is particularly noticeable in the delicate, fluid treatment of her face and hands.
  • Raised in Chicago, Ritman spent nearly 20 years working in the artists’ colony at Giverny. There he was inspired by images of women posed in interiors and private gardens made by fellow Americans Richard Miller and Frederick Frieseke. In 1913 Ritman adopted these subjects as well.
Louis Ritman in Giverny

Louis Ritman enrolled in the École des Beaux Arts in the summer of 1909. Around 1911, he moved to Giverny, where he spent almost two decades. At this time, Ritman came under the influence of the American Impressionists Richard Miller and Frederick Frieseke. He was particularly inspired by their paintings of women in domestic interiors and garden settings. Their approach differed from the previous artists who resided in Giverny because they focused on figure painting over landscapes. A popular subject included women relaxing in their boudoirs or in sunlit gardens. By the summer of 1913, Ritman was producing images of nude and partially draped figures.

Early Morning Sunshine shows an attractive woman, probably the artist’s favorite model, Mimi, seated on the ledge of an open window that reveals a backdrop of brilliant foliage. The composition is executed using broken color in a harmonious balance of blues, pinks, lavenders, and yellows. Painted in a fluid and delicate manner, this intimate interior is typical of the artist’s early Giverny canvases.

Love, Richard H. Louis Ritman: From Chicago to Giverny. Chicago: Haase Mumm Publishing Company.

Pennsylvania collection; (Christie's, New York, New York 02 December 1988); (Spanierman Gallery of New York, New York); Jane and Andrew Paine Indianapolis, Indiana; partial gift to the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 1997, gift completed in 2015.

Object Information

artist
Louis Ritman (American, 1889-1963)
creation date
about 1913
materials
oil on canvas
dimensions
36-3/8 x 29-1/8 in.
45 x 37-1/2 x 2-1/2 in. (framed)
accession number
1997.5
credit line
Gift of Andrew and Jane Paine
copyright
© Louis Ritman
collection
American Painting and Sculpture to 1945
colors

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