Frederick Ferdinand Schafer Painting Catalog

Painting record FFSd1020

[photo] [Pond in the woods]
Photo credit: Owner's photograph, 2015
Date: n.d.
Medium: oil on canvas
Size: 14 x 28 in (36 x 71 cm)
Inscription: in reddish-brown l/r "F. Schäffer in a script hand unlike that of Frederick F. Schafer, partial underlines left and right
Verso: (none)
Provenance: May have come from an estate sale in the northeastern United States; sold by 2015 by an antique market in Atlanta, Georgia; to private collection, Alpharetta, Georgia.
Citations: Personal communication with the owner, 2015
Attribution: Although the painting does have some of the characteristics of Frederick F. Schafer's work (framing of the scene with botanically accurate trees; realistic-looking water; central bright focus; dots of color in the foreground; and the canvas, stretcher bars, and method of mounting the painting in the frame seem to be of the expected age, this painting is probably by someone else who happens to share a similar surname.

The color palette with heavy use of emerald green is not typical of Schafer, the bright focus in the lower center is unusually small and distant, the painting has a uniform finish throughout, there is a lack of Schafer's characteristic forest debris anywhere in the scene, and the lettering of the signature has more flourishes and the letters are more rounded than in his usual signature. In addition, the spelling of the signature surname does not match Schafer's usual signature.

Any one of these differences might be attributable to ordinary variation from one painting to the next. But the accumulated number of differences is large enough to tilt the balance in the direction of a different artist.

There is, of course, a possibility that this is an early painting done in Germany before Schafer came to the United States and settled on what we know as his characteristic style and signature. That possibility is difficult to discount.

Identification: Assigned, descriptive title

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Feb 12, 2017, 16:48 MST Accessibility