One of "Duveneck's Boys", painter Louis Ritter would be one of the first Americans to spend time at the Giverny artist colony in France and would serve as a proponent of American Impressionism and the theories of his mentor, Frank Duveneck.
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1854, he began his formal studies at the McMicken School of Design in 1873 and a year later headed to Munich, where he studied under Duveneck at the Royal Academy.
After completing his studies he traveled to Italy, making stops in Florence and Venice. He returned to the United States and held his first group exhibition in Cincinnati in 1883. The show did not stimulate much interest in his works, and so he headed to Boston. He began teaching at Wellesley College later that year, and would use the landscape of the north shore as his subject for many years afterward.
When he retired from teaching in the late 1880s he journeyed to France with several other painters, including John Leslie Breck, Willard Metcalf and Theodore Robinson, where they became the first group of American painters to settle in Giverny.
He exhibited in the Paris Salon as well as many major American venues, including the National Academy of Design. He painted landscape, marine, figure and snow scenes and remained true to the Impressionist reliance on color and brushwork to capture the mood of each setting or scene.
He remained in Giverny until 1890, and then returned to Boston where he died two years later. His paintings are in the collections of the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Musee d'Art Americain in Giverny, France.