Who was Horace Van Ruith?

EIM 1906
Van Ruith in his studio c.1906

Horace Van Ruith (1839* – 5 July 1923) was a prolific British-German painter active in the late 19th and early 20th century. His career as an artist took off in the 1880s when he worked in India and he later consolidated his reputation when he moved to London in 1892. He was a regular contributor to the Royal Academy and worked in oils and water-colours, and predominantly made landscapes, portraits and scenes from ‘daily life’.

*Van Ruith was actually born in 1840, however most current reference material still give the year 1839. This website uses the traditional date in the byline and introduction to assist visitors to this site but uses the accurate date everywhere else. A full explanation for the discrepancy can be found here.

What is this project?

Despite being so prolific in his own era, Van Ruith is pretty much unknown today. To remedy this, independent researcher, Nicholas Thorp is undertaking a research project into the life and work of Van Ruith and this website serves as an open-access platform to this research. You can find out more about the author or contact him via Contact the Author.

What information is available on this website?

This website is the only dedicated source anywhere relating to Van Ruith’s life and work and it is updated regularly. On this website you will find:

What are the future stages of this project?

This research project is ongoing and more data shall eventually be published. Upcoming phases of this project include:

  • A catalogue raisonné (Currently stands at 167 separate entries. There are also approximately 130 entries in the supplementary catalogue of works of which no images exist.)
  • A full-length biography
  • A record of all auctions of Van Ruith’s work (1870s – present day)
  • The publishing of Van Ruith’s letters (seven are known)
  • An exhibition in 2023, either physical or digital, to commemorate the centenary of Van Ruith’s death.