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Frederick Ferdinand Schafer Painting Catalog

Painting record FFSd0317

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[photo] [Bear Lake in the Wasatch Mountains,] Utah [3]
Photo credit: J. H. Saltzer
Date: undated
Medium: oil on canvas, lined
Size: 30 x 50 in (76 x 127 cm)
Inscription: l/r "F. Schafer", in the artist's block-letter hand, underlined
Verso: said to have been "Utah" on canvas before lining. upper stretcher bar, right "Emporium/B.293" in pencil.
Provenance: With Willoughby-Toschi Gallery, San Francisco in 1976; to private collection, San Francisco. With Garzoli Gallery, San Rafael, California, 1989. With North Point Gallery, San Francisco, 1995; to private collection, New England, 1995.
Exhibited: Pack-In Painters of the American West, Los Angeles, 1976
Reproductions: William K. Dick photo #19 (color, 1971); 1976 exhibition catalog, figure 38
Site: Unidentified, but because the bright mountain on the left seems to include the geologic feature known as Devil's Slide, may be in the Weber Canyon, about 30 miles east of Ogden, Utah. If so, the painting is probably a composite, because below Devil's Slide is the Weber River rather than a lake.
Description: Dark clouds at the left, bright clouds in the center, and some blue sky amidst the clouds on the right stand above a black mountain profile with a snow-covered range behind it in the distance. In front of the black mountain on the left is a very much lighter and brighter beige cliff, standing above a lake which is mostly dark except for an indistinct reflection of the cliff. On the middle distance right stands a rocky brown hillside over which a stream drops in two waterfalls to reach the lake. Nearer, a grove of conifers stands near the right edge, and a brown bear approaches through a sun-basked clearing in front of two white boulders. Between the viewer and the bear lies the trunk of a fallen tree; another log lies behind the bear. (From the painting, 9 December 1989.)
Note: (1) If not a composite, the lake may be a wide, slow-moving section of the Weber River looking west. (2) Except for the background mountain described by the first sentence, the description above could also be applied to Albert Bierstadt's Mount Corcoran (1875?), which has a remarkably similar foreground. [Hendricks, Gordon, Albert Bierstadt, plate 172, page 232.] Gilbert Munger's two paintings titled Mountain Lake with Peaks depict another very similar locale. Unfortunately, none of the locales of these three paintings have been firmly identified. (3) Schafer painted this scene several times from slightly different vantage points. See the list of Wasatch Mountains for other paintings of this same scene.
Identification: The painting seen in 1989 and again in 1995 is the same as the one in the 1971 photograph. Since the verso inscription, now lost to lining, was reported to just identify the state, the assigned title is based on three other nearly identical paintings that were titled by the artist.
Other title(s): Passing storm, Wasatch Mountains, Utah (exhibition title)

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Feb 13, 2017, 11:05 MST