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Frederick Ferdinand Schafer Painting Catalog

Painting record FFSd0539

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[photo] Yosemite Valley, California, from Artist's Point [1] (attributed)

Medium: oil on canvas
Size: 42 x 70 in (107 x 178 cm)
Inscription: l/r "T. Hill" (false signature)
Verso: "Yosemite Valley Cal/from Artists Point", in Frederick Schafer's characteristic block-letter hand
Provenance: In private collection, Michigan, ca 1930; with Richard York Gallery, New York City, 1993 With Sotheby's, New York City, 8 Apr 2011.
Reproductions: Richard York Gallery photograph, 1993; Antiques, The Magazine, July 1993, page 19 (color); 8 Apr 2011 sale catalog lot 154 (color).
Attribution: The composition, finish, palette, accents, trees, snags, three-legged horse, natural-looking waterfall, Germanic-style block printing of the verso inscription, and close resemblence to [Yosemite 4] all suggest that Schafer is the artist, despite the signature.
Site: A view looking East up Yosemite Valley, California, from high on the South side, near Artist's point along the Madera road.
Description: The classic view of Yosemite Valley, with El Capitan looming darkly on the left, Cathedral Rocks above Bridalveil Fall on the right, Half Dome visible through the haze in the distance with snow-covered mountains beyond, Sentinel Rock framed by a ridge just beyond, and the Merced river winding through the valley below. The painting is divided diagonally into two triangles, the upper left triangle being a background with minimal finish, while the lower right triangle is richly detailed. Bright sunlight in the center strikes a green slope, the trail, and four travelers on horseback head away from the viewer, toward a conifer forest. One rider has dismounted and appears to be checking the saddlebags; another wears a bright red shirt. On the left of the trail a fallen snag lies across a large boulder. To the right, in the shadowed foreground, a rivulet cascades down the steep hillside. (From a color photograph.)
Note: The 8 Apr 2011 sale catalog incorrectly reports the signature being at the lower left and repeats incorrect dates for the artist (1841-1917).

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Feb 13, 2017, 11:05 MST