Vikings in the glow of the midnight sun signed 'Wm Ritschel / NA' (lower right) and signed and titled (on the backing board) oil on canvas 40 1/4 x 45in overall: 52 1/2 x 57 1/2in
PROVENANCE: Collection of the Guggenheim family IBM collection Private collection, Northern California
Vikings in the Glow of the Midnight Sun is a work of significant scale and accomplishment painted by Ritschel at the height of his powers. Best known for his depictions of the sea and sea faring vessels the scene depicted is a Viking armada sailing through the fjords. The snow-capped mountains in the distance frame the drama of the ships navigating the unforgiving sea. The ships move through the center of the composition but the surging sea is the focus of the painting. With the deceptive ease of mastery Ritschel's water is crafted of a myriad of colors and brush strokes.
This painting was executed circa 1914 and was created concurrently with another large work that Ritschel painted depicting Christopher Columbus and his armada. The work was exhibited at the Carmel Art Association on special loan during WWII. This lot retains the original Albert Milch frame. The Milch Brothers were among the foremost picture framers in New York in the early 20th century.
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California and Western Paintings