An Impressionist painter, William Frederick Ritschel was born in Nuremburg and started his artistic career in Germany, studying at the Royal Academy in Munich. Though he would become famous as a painter, his early years, which saw him working as a sailor, would leave him with a love of seascapes; the paintings for which he is the most well-known and highly-regarded.
His Impressionist style lends itself well to the drama of the sea, with the breaking waves being represented in bold strokes and vibrant colors that lend a sense of motion and power to his paintings. He spent a great deal of time painting the Pacific Ocean in the Monterey Peninsula, a favorite subject of his and one which helped the artist define his style.
William Frederick Ritschel first immigrated to the United States in 1895, initially living in New York City. He moved to California in 1911, opting to make his permanent home in Carmel-by-the-Sea where he created some of his most famous works.
His work is held in many prestigious public collections, including the Monterey Museum of Art-owing to his importance to the region- the Art Institute of Chicago as well as the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington D.C.