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Frederick Ferdinand Schafer Painting Catalog

Painting record FFSd0293

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[no photo] Sunset in Santa Cruz Mountains, California

Date: undated
Medium: oil on canvas
Size: 35 x 24 in (88 x 61 cm)
Inscription: l/r "F. Schafer" in the artist's block-letter hand, underlined; a hazy mark above the "a" may be an umlaut
Verso: l/c "Sunset in Santa Cruz Mts Cal.", in the artist's block-letter hand; stamp "Whittier Fuller & Co./ Artists Materials/Picture Frames/and ---[moldings?]/ 412 & 414 Twelfth Street, Oakland"
Provenance: In collection of Mrs. Elliott Johnson by 1966; by gift to The Oakland Museum of California in 1966 (public).
Citations: Inventory of American Paintings… record 71067660; Oakland Museum registration record, inventory #66.94.
Description: A slender, bearded man wearing a brown, broad-brimmed hat and a dark reddish brown shirt (probably intended to represent John Muir) and carrying a staff emerges from a redwood grove, casting a shadow forward along a dirt path. Just to the left of the figure is a small green conifer; both are dwarfed by the giant redwoods that line the path a little farther back. A large, sawn redwood log lies on the ground to the right amidst pieces of broken wood in front of several more bright green conifers. Wild flowers dot the grassy foreground clearings on either side. Looking farther down the path, a tree leans over the path from the right; the forest becomes very dense and the path disappears into blackness. Through the forest cut the sky is sunset orange near the horizon, shading to a hazy blue, then into an illuminated pink cloud layer, with dark blue above. The signature is on a rock. (From the painting, 15 August 1991.)
Note: The subject and composition is very similar to [Hunter returning home through the redwoods]. In that painting the large redwood tree on the right has a large vertical gash at its base. See the list of forest path scenes for several other works of similar composition. This is a Western version. The painting is normally stored off-site.

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Feb 13, 2017, 11:05 MST