Born in Nuremberg, Germany on July 11, 1864. Ritschel was educated at the Latin and Industrial School in Nuremberg. As a youth he worked as a sailor and it was during this time that he began sketching marine subjects. He studied art at the Royal Academy in Munich under Raupp and Kaulbach before immigrating to NYC in 1895. In 1911 he settled in Carmel, CA while continuing to exhibit on the East Coast and in Europe. His paintings of the sea earned him international acclaim and in 1914 he was elected a member of the National Academy. In 1918 he began construction on his ocean view studio-home in the Carmel Highlands. This castle-like stone structure was to remain his home for the rest of his life except for trips throughout the world, especially the South Seas where he frequently visited. Oldtimers on the Monterey Peninsula remember him garbed in a flowered sarong and perched on a cypress-covered cliff with brushes and easel. Ritschel died at his Carmel home on March 11, 1949. Member: NY WC Club; American WC Society; Carmel AA; Bohemian Club; Société Internationale des Beaux Arts et des Lettres (Paris); Academy of Western Painters (LA); Allied AA; NAC. Exh: SFAA, 1911; NAD, 1913 (prize), 1921 (prize), 1926; NAC, 1914 (gold medal); PPIE, 1915 (gold medal); Calif. State Fair, 1916 (gold medal), 1926 (1st prize); Philadelphia Arts Club, 1918 (gold medal); Calif. WC Society, 1921-23; Salmagundi Club, 1923 (Isador prize), 1930; AIC, 1923 (prize); Royal Academy, 1924; Paris Salon, 1926; Stendahl Gallery (LA), 1929; Santa Cruz Art League, 1937; GGIE, 1939; Biltmore Salon (LA), 1944. In: NAC; NMAA; Monterey Peninsula Museum; PAFA; Oakland Museum; Fort Worth Museum; St Louis Museum; Bowers Museum (Santa Ana); Detroit Art Club; AIC; LACMA; Minneapolis Museum; Crocker Museum (Sacramento); Irvine (CA) Museum; Orange Co. (CA) Museum.
Edan Hughes, “Artists in California, 1786-1940”
American Art Annual 1919-33; Who’s Who in American Art 1936-47; NY Times, 3-13-1949 (obituary).