Artemio was the son of Faustino Ricarte and Bonifacia Garcia. His finished his early education at his hometown. He later studied at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran where he earned a degree on arts. He also studied at the University of Santo Tomas and Normal School to prepare for a teaching profession. After earning a diploma, he taught at San Francisco de Malabon now known as General Trias, Cavite.
On 31 August 1896, he joined the uprising and became a member of the Katipunan. He later killed the Spanish leader who was stationed in San Francisco de Malabon. His display of courage in the line of battle was rewarded; he was promoted to bregadier-general in Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo's army and became the captain general in the Tejeros Convention. Known in the Katipunan as "Vibora" (Viper) by his fellow katipuneros, he was in charge of the provinces of Cavite, Laguna and Batangas. Gen. Emilio Aguilnaldo assigned him to remain in Biak-na-Bato, San Miguel, Bulacan where the peace pact was held and verified whether the Spaniards complied with the provisions.
In 1899, when the war against the Americans broke out, he was designated as the chief of operations of the Filipino forces in the second zone around Manila. A year later, he was captured by the Americans after an attempt to infiltrate an American defense line in Manila. He was deported to Guam along with Apolinario Mabini in 1901. Because of his refusal to sign an oath of allegiance, the American government transferred him to Hong Kong with other political exiles. Together, they planned another revolution against the Americans and secretly returned to the Philippines.
He arrived at the country on December 1903. Soon the Americans discovered his return and he was arrested and imprisoned in Bilibid. He was released on June 1910, in condition that he would sign the oath of alligiance. He refused again and was deported again to Hong Kong. From there he took his wife and went to Yokohama, Japan.
When the World War II began, he was taken back to the Philippines by the Japanese to pacify the Filipinos but his deeds during the Spanish era was forgotten. He was forced to follow the Japanese in their retreat to the Mountain Province when the Americans returned in 1945.
Ricarte died at age 78. His remains lie at the "Libingan ng mga Bayani."
- Quirino, Carlos. Who's Who in Philippine History. Manila: Tahanan Books, 1995.