Peter Ruta began painting around 1940 at the Art Students League in New York City.In those days, like so many of his contemporaries, he was a political painter, interested in mural and fresco. A mural he painted in the basement of the League in 1941 was never completely erased because in January 1942 his generation were drafted to fight in the Second World War. Ruta went that route too. In February 1945 he was wounded in the retaking of Bataan in the Philippines and not expected to survive. But thanks to the skill of an army surgeon, the new invention of penicillin, and some crazy luck ( the four bullets from an automatic rifle that hit him on the night of February 3, 1945, missed his bones and vital organs) he survived to go on painting. But after the war he’d had enough of politics and rhetoric and turned to painting simple modest views of the real world. This approach stayed with him to the end.