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Frederick Ferdinand Schafer Painting Catalog

Painting record FFSd0207

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[photo] [Mountain composition 2]
Photo credit: Walter Nelson-Rees, WIM Fine Arts
Date: said to be undated
Medium: oil on canvas
Size: 30 x 50 in (76 x 127 cm)
Inscription: l/r "Schäfer", in the artist's block-letter hand, in red
Provenance: With Torrance Gallery, San Anselmo, California, 1974. To private collection, San Francisco, California, 1975; with Garzoli Gallery, San Francisco, in 1983; to collection of James Coran & Walter Nelson-Rees, Oakland, California, in 1986, #4904; destroyed in the Oakland fire, 20 October 1991.
Exhibited: California Landscape Painting, 1860–1885, Palo Alto, California, 1975-76.
Reproductions: 1975 exhibition catalog cover (color); Stanford University Visual Collection 76Q.85 (color, 1976); Early California and Western Art Research/Schafer slide #18 (color, 1974); William K. Dick photo #2 (color, 1971); Coran, James L. and Walter A. Nelson-Rees, If Pictures Could Talk plate 13 (color, 1989); Chelette, Iona M., et al., California Grandeur and Genre, page 87 (color, 1989). Moure, Nancy Dustin Wall, California Art, page 46, figure 3-9 (color.)
Citations: 1975 exhibition catalog, #3, page 49, Coran and Nelson-Rees, page 62, Chelette, page 86.
Site: Ambiguous, perhaps a composite. The volcano has the general appearance of Mount Shasta, viewed from the rarely painted and difficult-to-reach East side (where Shastina is hidden), and also of most common view of Mount Hood from the Northeast. Nan Jones points out that the shadows require that the sun be low in the sky off the right side, either shortly after sunrise or shortly before sunset. This position is consistent with an early summer morning view of Mount Shasta or an early evening view of Mount Hood. The meadow in the distance is typical of the region surrounding Mount Shasta.
Description: A snow-capped stratovolcano stands in in the center background against dramatic clouds; its lower reaches are a hazy, rocky grey. A meadow surrounded by forested hills appears in the middle distance, viewed down a gently sloping foreground valley. Two massive white boulders, marked with black and red lichens, and a stand of tall conifers, dominate the left side. The decaying trunk of a fallen tree lies suspended across one of the white boulders; a high rock cliff looms behind the trees at the left edge. Pink and white wildflowers dot the ground around the boulders. The right side of the valley is also forested in dark green, but the trees are farther away, and less dominating. A little blue sky is visible in the upper left corner. (From color photographs and the painting, 15 July 1990.)
Note: Miller describes this painting as being in the manner of Thomas Hill, but with different coloring, light, and textures.
Identification: The Early California and Western Art Research index identifies the slide with the painting shown by Torrance, owned by William K. Dick, and exhibited in 1975; that index adds the words (Mount Hood, Oregon?) to the title. The exhibition catalog gives the dimensions as 50 x 30 in and locates the signature at the lower left, but the photograph in that catalog is of a painting in landscape orientation. William K. Dick confirms that he sold the painting to John Garzoli. A descriptive note in the book by Coran and Nelson-Rees identifies the painting with the 1975 exhibition and Garzoli, and suggests a date c. 1880.
Other title(s): Mount Shasta, California (Torrance Gallery)

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Feb 13, 2017, 11:05 MST