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Frederick Ferdinand Schafer Painting Catalog

Painting record FFSd0203

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[photo] Mount Tamalpais from Ross Valley, California [1]
Photo credit: Walter Nelson-Rees, 1991
Date: undated, probably 1880-1886
Medium: oil on canvas
Size: 30 x 50 in (76 x 127 cm)
Inscription: l/l "F Schafer San Francisco", underlined, in the artist's block-letter hand
Verso: said to be "Mount Tamalpais from Ross Valley California"
Provenance: In private collection, Ripon, Wisconsin; with Bonhams & Butterfields, San Francisco, 12 July 1990; to collection of James Coran & Walter Nelson-Rees, Oakland, 1990; to private collection, 1991. With Bonhams & Butterfields, San Francisco, 12 December 2001.
Exhibited: California Grandeur and Genre #37, December 1991--March 1993, 5 U. S. venues.
Reproductions: 12 December 2001 sale catalog 7274D, lot 5163; 12 July 1990 sale catalog 4325P/P58, lot 2147; Early California and Western Art Research/Schafer slide #102 (color, 1990); Nelson-Rees slide (color, 1991)
Site: View from the south of Mount Tamalpais, in Marin County, California, probably from Frank's Valley rather than Ross Valley.
Description: A view across a wide, flat valley past two ridges, a shadowed, forested one sloping up to the left and a lighter, grassy, sun-brightened one sloping up to the right; beyond the ridges a beige Mount Tamalpais dominates the scene under a sky that is cloudy on the right and blue on the left; the sun is apparently low in the sky off the canvas to the left, making the scene one of early evening. In the middle distance, a five or six cows, some white, some brown, stand in green grass beside a meandering river that finally makes its way past sandy banks and two snags to the right front corner of the painting. A few small trees stand on the low right bank of the river; on the left beyond the cows a grove of broadleaf trees stands on the bank above the river's channel. Behind them and farther to the left is a sun-brightened clearing. In the photographs, the nearly identical, but smaller, Mount Tamalpais from Ross Valley, California [1] can best be distinguished by counting cows. (From a color photograph.)
Note: 1. The reported verso inscription is puzzling. Ross Valley is north of Mount Tamalpais, but the painting is of the mirror-image, southern profile of the mountain. Mount Tamalpais from Ross Valley, California [2], Mount Tamalpais from Ross Valley, California [3], Mount Tamalpais from Ross Valley, California [4], and Mount Tamalpais from Ross Valley, California [5] share this same mistitling; Evening on Mount Tamalpais from Ross Valley, California [1] and Evening on Mount Tamalpais from Ross Valley, California [2] share the title but are views from the North as one would expect. 2. The inscription "San Francisco" following the signature suggests that the painting was executed during the period 1880-1886, when Schafer had a studio in that city.
Other title(s): Mount Tamalpais from Frank's Valley (Early California and Western Art Research index); Yosemite scene (1990 sale catalog; preposterous)

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Feb 13, 2017, 11:05 MST