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Early Morning Sunshine

Louis Ritman (American, 1889-1963)


Painted in a fluid Impressionist manner, this composition is executed using broken color in a harmonious balance of blues, pinks, lavenders, and yellows.

Ritman spent almost two decades in Giverny, where he came under the influence of the Impressionist style.

Pennsylvania collection; sold at Christie's December 2 1988; Spanierman Gallery of New York; purchased by Jane and Andrew Paine, promised gift to the IMA 1997

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.

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
Partial and Promised Gift of Jane and Andrew Paine
copyright
© Louis Ritman
collection
American Painting and Sculpture to 1945