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Frederick Ferdinand Schafer Painting Catalog

Painting record FFSd0252

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[photo] Evening on Mount Tamalpais, California [1]
Photo credit: Bruce Davies, Craigdarroch Castle Historical Museum Society
Date: undated
Medium: oil on canvas
Size: 29 x 50 in (75 x 126 cm)
Inscription: l/l "FSchäfer", initials conjoined in a monogram, underlined, umlaut resembles a circumflex
Verso: l/r "Ev. on Mt. Tamalpais Cal.", in black brush. On the frame… "84" in pencil; l & r, stamp of "T. J. Sass & Co./14 & 15 Ellis St. S.F." with icon of an eagle.
Provenance: In collection of Joan Olive (Mrs. Robert) Dunsmuir, Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria, British Columbia, by 1909; to her estate; with H. W. Davies, M.A.A., & Sons, Auctioneers, 21 June 1909; to collection of Mr. & Mrs. Robert Scott, Victoria, B.C., 1909; by descent to collection of Mrs. Harry Crane, Victoria, B.C.; by gift to The Craigdarroch Castle Historical Museum Society 1969.
Exhibited: Currently on permanent public display in the castle, in the dining room, West wall.
Citations: 21 June 1909, auction catalog, lot 106. Dorothy Wrotnowski, (Victoria, British Columbia) The Daily Colonist, 21 March 1969; James K. Nesbitt, (Victoria, British Columbia) The Daily Colonist, 10 August 1973; James K. Nesbitt, The Vancouver Sun 29 July 1970 and 9 June 1973; Nesbitt, James K., Craigdarroch Castle, panel 7. Reksten, Terry, Craigdarroch: The Story of Dunsmuir Castle, 1987, page 41. Reksten, Terry, A Guide to Craigdarroch, page 16. Craigdarroch Castle accession file 983.755.
Site: View from the north of Mount Tamalpais, in Marin County, California, at sunset. The viewpoint is probably near San Anselmo.
Description: Mt. Tamalpais, and a few fluffy clouds, are iron-red in the setting sun, which is off the canvas to the right; a crescent moon hangs above and just to the left of the peak against a blue sky. The view is through a marshy valley bed; to the right it is dark; two conifers stand at the right edge, tall enough that thir tops are silhouetted against the sky. On the left is a moderate slope covered with brush and boulders among which lie two downed snags. A prominent live oak is silhouetted against the sky on the left; beyond it the sun catches the tops of the trees in a forest some distance away. (From the painting, 11 September 1998.)
Note: This painting is very similar to Evening on Mount Tamalpais from Ross Valley, California [1]. Reksten, Terry, Craigdarroch: The Story of Dunsmuir Castle suggests that Craigdarroch may have originally acquired this painting in an 1891 auction held by Schafer in Victoria. The entire contents of Craigdarroch were sold at auction in 1909. The auction catalog lists eight paintings by Schafer; this painting was among the contents of the dining room. According to Nesbitt in the The Vancouver Sun article, in recent years some effort went into reacquiring as many of the auctioned paintings as possible. This is one of the reacquired paintings.
Identification: Craigdarroch Castle identifies the current painting with the one sold in 1909, based on continuous provenance. The 1909 auction catalog misspells the name of the mountain "Tamalpias". Reksten and Nesbitt in his newspaper articles (but not in the Craigdarroch brochure) reproduce this error, and Reksten refers to the painting simply as "Mount Tamalpias".

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Feb 13, 2017, 11:05 MST