Richard Dey De Ribcowsky traveled the world and was a highly successful painter. He is known for his dramatic landscapes done early in the 20th century.
He was born in Rustchuk, Bulgaria (now known as Ruse), not far from Bucharest, Romania in 1880. At age 13, rather than going to military school, Richard ventured to Paris to study art. At age 22 in 1922, he was an art student in Florence, Italy. In that same year, he won his first award for his work in Petrograd (St. Petersburg) Russia.
In 1904 at age 24, he traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina. There, he founded the Buenos Aires Academy of Beaux-Arts. He continued to travel extensively as a young man, exhibiting and winning prizes for his work as widely as Montevideo, Uruguay (1908), Odessa, Ukraine (1909), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (1909), Moscow, Russia (1910) and Sofia, Bulgaria (1910), developing a burgeoning reputation as a talented internationally known painter, particularly of maritime scenes and seascapes.
In 1910, De Ribcowsky was 30 years old. He settled in New York City. From his NYC base, he traveled widely within the United States, painting New York urban scenes, paintings of the Grand Canyon, the desert Southwest, and the Redwood forests of California.
Critics said De Ribcowsky's style demonstrated a remarkable handling of light, which De Ribcowsky achieved through a self-taught technique he termed ‘Reflex Style’. This technique focussed on the way natural light carries and bounces colors off different objects, blending tones and illuminating them to produce a naturally brilliant palette.
In the 1920’s De Ribcowsky settled in Los Angeles. In 1931, he was involved in a car accident leaving him wheel chair bound the rest of his life. He did not let his handicap slow him down. He was able to travel to New York where he is recorded to have stayed at the Beacon Hotel were he painted urban scenes. In Los Angeles, he made his home in the Ambassador Hotel, which was also home to the glamorous Coconut Grove Nightclub. Many of the Hollywood elite were among De Ribcowsky's clients, often buying his paintings directly from the Hotel's walls where they were strategically displayed.
De Ribcowsky died at age 56 in Los Angeles. He was active in Europe, South America and the United States.
Askart.com posts a biographical note in its site from Charles Gurney, who, as a boy, had the opportunity to know the artist during 1935 - 36. He reports that during De Ribcowsky's last years, he resided at the at either the Ambassador or the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. He further states de Ribcowsky's paintings were on display throughout the hotel and were for sale. He was in a wheelchair at this time, but still got around with the help of a chauffeur who would lift him into a large sedan, and he was accompanied by an attractive young lady nurse.
Charles Gurney ends his note by saying "That I can remember this much from the years I was 9 and 10 years old, tells what a really forceful personality he was. He was, truly, unforgettable. Behind the sometimes curmudgeonly manner, he was quite a humorist and definitely a powerful presence. His paintings please, and they last."
Source: Askart, Chris Beetles Gallery in London, UK