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Frederick Ferdinand Schafer Painting Catalog

Painting record FFSd0260

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[photo] [The California Alps]
Photo credit: Bruce Davies, Craigdarroch Castle Historical Museum Society
Date: undated
Medium: oil on canvas, laid down on masonite
Inscription: l/r "FSchafer", horizontal bar over the "a", initials conjoined in a monogram.
Verso: none visible (covered)
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 library, West wall.
Citations: 21 June 1909 auction catalog, lot 171. 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 12. Craigdarroch Castle accession file 983.795.
Description: A series of at least three mountain ranges, a distant range with a peak near the center, a middle-distance range with a rounded top near the right, and a nearby, brownish range with dark, sharp crags on both the left and right span the picture beyond a lake or river on the right. There is a forest on the far bank of the lake. Atop the nearest range on the left is a solitary tree whose top is silhouetted in the blue sky, which contains long, thin clouds. Nearby, the bank to the left seems somewhat desolate, with a number of fallen snags. (From the painting, 11 September 1998.)
Note: 1. Reksten, Terry, Craigdarroch: The Story of Dunsmuir Castle suggests that Craigdarroch may have originally acquired this painting in a September 1891 auction (Vancouver Daily World, September 1891) held by Schafer in Vancouver, British Columbia. 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 library. According to Nesbitt in 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: The source of the title is unknown, but the background mountain range does resemble that of The Alps of California [1], so it may have come from a now-hidden inscription. Craigdarroch Castle identifies the current painting with the one sold in 1909, based on continuous provenance. The brochure by Nesbitt, and his articles in the The Vancouver Sun and (Victoria, British Columbia) The Daily Colonist, interchange the provenance of this painting with that of Mountain of the Holy Cross [1], but the minutes of the 1972 annual meeting of the Craigdarroch Castle Society positively identify the donor of the other painting.

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Feb 13, 2017, 11:05 MST