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Frederick Ferdinand Schafer Painting Catalog

Painting record FFSd0087

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[photo] The Gorge, Victoria, British Columbia
Photo credit: William K. Dick, 1973
Date: Probably between 1882 and 1890 (see site note).
Medium: Oil on canvas.
Size: 20 x 36 in (51 x 91 cm)
Inscription: Signed l/r "FSchafer", in the artist's characteristic block-letter hand, initials conjoined in a monogram.
Verso: Said to be titled.
Provenance: Offered in 1973 by Garzoli Gallery, San Francisco. Sold 4 June 1979 for $1400 + 10% by Butterfield & Butterfield, San Francisco, as lot 128 in sale 3035, "American and European Paintings". Sold 5 October 1981 for $1500 + 10% by Sotheby's, Los Angeles, as lot 163 in sale 320, "Fine 19th and 20th Century European and American Paintings".
Reproductions: 7 June 1979 sale catalog; 5 October 1981 sale catalog vol. 1; Early California and Western Art Research/Schafer slide #44 (color, 1979); William K. Dick photo #105 (color, 1973).
Citations: Inventory of American Paintings… record 63002929.
Site: View to the west, from the north bank of the Gorge, a scenic inlet that snakes through Victoria, British Columbia.
Description: A girdered bridge spans a river, which flows directly toward the viewer to finally encompass almost the entire width of the picture. In the background is a dark green conifer forest which contrasts with the bright grassy yellow river banks; on the left bank a few animals (sheep?) graze; on the steeper right bank about fifteen people are standing and sitting, dressed in colorful Sunday park clothes, perhaps on a picnic. Two more figures on the bridge contemplate the river below. The sky is bright and cloud-filled. Foreground objects, such as the people, the bridge, the guard fence along the road to the left, and the trees at the edge of the forest, are quite detailed, while the more distant trees of the forest are indistinct. (From a color photograph.)
Note: The girdered bridge in the painting was the fourth bridge in this location, in place from 1882 to 1899. The painting does not depict a boardwalk towpath under the bridge that was constructed around 1890, so the painting was probably made, or at least sketched, between 1882 and 1890.
Identification: Title from the reported verso title inscription. The Inventory of American Paintings entry cites the Sotheby's sale. A note on the back of the photo from William K. Dick identifies it with the Garzoli offering.

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Dec 28, 2020, 15:26 MST Accessibility