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Frederick Ferdinand Schafer Painting Catalog

Painting record FFSd0041

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[photo] Catskill Fall, Catskill Mountains, New York
Photo credit: Mark Traugott, 2007
Date: undated
Medium: oil on canvas, lined
Size: 30 x 50 in (76 x 127 cm) [see Identification]
Inscription: l/l "F. Schafer", in the artist's block-letter hand
Verso: said to be "Catskill Fall, Catskill Mtns., N.Y." before lining
Provenance: In private collection, Oakland, California, by 1970; to private collection, c. 1970; with Carlson Gallery, San Francisco, in 1983. In private collection, Venice, California; with Bonhams & Butterfields, San Francisco, 31 July 1991. With Bonhams & Butterfields, San Francisco, 24 June 1992. With John Moran Auctioneers, Inc., Altadena, 16 June 1998. With an unidentified San Francisco dealer, April 2007. With The Coeur d'Alene Art Auction, Reno, Nevada, 26 July 2014.
Reproductions: William K. Dick photo #69 (color, 1971); 31 July 1991 sale catalog 4579D, lot 2021; 24 June 1992 sale catalog 4907D, lot 6256. Early California and Western Art Research/Schafer slide #111 (1991)
Citations: William K. Dick notes, page 76
Site: A view of Catskill Falls, also known as Kaaterskill Falls, on the Catskill Escarpment near the town of Palerville, New York.
Description: A mountain valley. A stream falls over a brownish-grey rocky cliff in the center and descends directly toward the viewer under the trunk of a fallen tree which leans on a boulder on the right side. A figure wearing a brown, broad-brimmed hat and carrying a staff stands looking at the fall on the left bank behind a large white boulder. Two large tree trunks stand on the bank to the left, brush on the bank to the right, dead trees and clutter lie scattered about in the middle distance. The sky above the cliff is bright blue with a few white clouds; another, higher rocky cliff is visible in the background. (From the painting, 28 July 1991.)
Note: (1) The original title having been lost to lining, later owners or galleries seem to have invented the alternate title referring to the California naturalist John Muir, perhaps because of some resemblence of the figure to a widely-circulated photograph of John Muir. (2) The composition of this painting is very similar to [In the Catskills] and [Nevada Falls 2]. (3) This painting was reported to have been offered for sale in an unidentified Palo Alto art gallery in December 2002. (4) The current stretcher bars (apparently replaced when the painting was lined) carry a faint imprint of the Annesley John Company of Healdsburg, California. (5) The picture may have been painted in the early 1870s, when Schafer is thought to have temporarily resided in New York.
Identification: Title from the verso inscription reported in records of the 1970 collector. In the Bonhams & Butterfields sale catalogs the size is given as 30 x 51 3/4, and the alternate title is used, but the photograph matches the William K. Dick 1971 photo.
Other title(s): John Muir's Valley (1991 and 1992 sale catalogs); John Muir's Valley, Yosemite (2014 sale catalog)

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Feb 13, 2017, 11:05 MST