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William F. Ritschel, American, (1864–1949)

A Winter Morning, East River

Oil on canvas
48 x 61.5 in. (121.92 x 156.21 cm)
Gift of the Ritschel Trust in support of the William F. Ritschel Memorial
Accession Number: 1976.063

Ritschel had spent time in New York City when he first came to the United States in 1895, as evidenced in this East River scene. The panoramic view, where our eye is carried off to the distant bridge and the buildings beyond, is typical of the style he brought from his early art schooling in Germany. (Once he settled in Carmel, his paintings became more intimate.). Here we have an active scene of river traffic, floating ice, and dappled sunlight. The winter chill of the day is tempered by the warm color of the brick buildings in the foreground. The diagonal motion of the smoke and the docks counterbalances the opposite diagonal of the modern Brooklyn Bridge in the background.

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