A notable second-generation impressionist, Louis Ritman was best known for his informal scenes of women in gardens and interiors. Ritman began his career in Chicago, working as a sign painter while studying with Wellington J. Reynolds (b. 1869) at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. In 1907 he entered the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, studying with John H. Vanderpoel (1857-1911), and exhibited for the first time. He also studied with WILLIAM M. CHASE at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia before leaving for France in 1909. Although he attended the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, the painting excursions he made to the area around Giverny had a greater impact on his art. Having adopted impressionism by 1911, the following year Ritman rented a house in Giverny near the home of Claude Monet (1840-1926). He remained in France for most of World War I, returning in 1915 only for his solo exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago. During his years in France Ritman continued to exhibit regularly in the United States and was accorded many solo exhibitions, including several at the Art Institute (1915, 1920, 1923) and throughout the Midwest and in New York at Macbeth Gallery (1919, 1925) and the Milch Galleries (1924, 1929). In 1930 Ritman returned permanently to Chicago and became professor of painting at the School of the Art Institute. He occasionally visited France. From 1951 to 1963 he summered in southeast Michigan, where he devoted himself to landscape painting.
C. H. Waterman, "Louis Ritman," International Studio 67 (April 1919): LXII-LXIV § Chicago, Signature Galleries, The Paintings of Louis Ritman (1889-1963), exh. cat., 1975, with essay by Richard H. Love, chronology, lists of awards and museum collections § Nicole de Fleur, Ritman (Random Lake, Wis.: Privately printed, nd.).