Jim Ritchie, a Canadian sculptor (b.1929), had several exhibitions of his works in his native Montréal before deciding to settle in the small town of Vence, in Provence. Rita, a fellow Canadian, and her husband Witold, who was soon to become one of Poland’s most famous writers, lived there until his death in 1969. For Ritchie, the proximity of Italy was a deciding factor, and he has worked in the Tuscan town of Pietrasanta. The stone carvers and foundries were what led him to that area, and while he prefers Vence as ideal for creating his pieces, Pietrasanta, only 350 kilometers away, is where he produces his bronze and marble sculptures.
During a period of thirty years, he lived and worked in the Villa Alexandrine, his studio in the tower and the stone carving in the garden behind the building. After living in the center of Vence for more than thirty years, in 1997, he and his son Paul found an abandoned Italian style Mas, or farmhouse, just outside the village. Ritchie then went about rebuilding the Mas de L’Ormée, while continuing to sculpt and travel to Pietrasanta several times a year.
After three exhibitions in London in the sixties, he showed at Waddington Galleries in Montreal during the seventies. He was then represented by Adelson Galleries in New York starting in 1980 where he had two one-man shows. During the next twenty years, Warren Adelson arranged exhibitions of his work in Boston, Los Angeles and the Miami Art Fair. He now shows his work locally and at the Mas de L’Ormée in Vence where he has a permanent exhibition of his scrulptures from the different periods of his sixty-year career.
In the center of the old town of Vence stands a monumental bronze sculpture that he created for the Village where he has worked for over fifty years.
It is a cubist figure of a young woman and is called «La Vençoise», an hommage to the town he loves and the inspiration he has found there.
From the Official Biography of Jim Ritchie