Peter Ruta is a leading American painter of landscapes and cityscapes. At 95 years of age he paints with great energy and confidence, fortified by a lifetime of experience in the field, literally, because he paints outdoors, from the motif, wherever possible.

Born 1918 in Germany, Ruta was raised in Italy and emigrated to the US in 1936. He studied painting at the Art Students League with Jean Charlot, who sent him to Mexico in 1939 to meet the fresco painters Charlot had trained years earlier.

After serving in the US infantry, Pacific Theatre, Second World War (wounded in the retaking of Bataan 1945) Ruta returned to Italy. He studied painting on a Fulbright grant in Rome and Venice, receiving his diploma from the Venice Accademia in 1948. From 1953 to 1960 he lived in the (then) poor fishing village of Positano on the Amalfi coast, where he met refugee painters from Central Europe who influenced his style towards greater simplicity and Mediterranean clarity.

In New York in the 1960s he edited ARTS magazine, published two books of architectural photography (South Asia and Byzantium) and joined the Pop movement, with paintings based on newspaper photos. But by 1970 he returned to landscape painting. He has worked in France, Spain, southern Mexico (Chiapas 1970s) New Mexico (1980s and 90s) New England and New York City. In 2000 and 2001 he shared a communal studio on the 9lst floor of the North Tower, World Trade Center, with a group of younger artists.

He now divides his time between winters in the studio, where he paints “indoor landscapes” – large complex heaps of fruit and vegetabes – and summers in southern Italy where he has been painting again in Positano and in the ancient vineyards of nearby Tramonti in the Lattari Mountains.

Museums have celebrated Ruta’s remarkable career with major retrospectives at the Museum of the City of New York (2004), Stadtgeschichtliches Museum Leipzig (2008) and Villa Rufolo, Ravello, Italy (2012), among others.