Frederick Ferdinand Schafer Painting Catalog

Painting record FFSd0651


[photo] [Indian encampment in Yosemite Valley]

Date: undated
Medium: oil on canvas, lined
Size: 30 x 50 in (76 x 127 cm)
Inscription: l/l "F. Schafer", unknown hand (see note)
Verso: n.v. (lined, new stretcher)
Provenance: With Bonhams & Butterfields, San Francisco, 12 October 1989.
Reproductions: 12 October 1989 sale catalog 2124P/P50, lot 3418 (not indexed) (color & monochrome); Bonhams & Butterfields slide (color, 1989); Early California and Western Art Research/Schafer slide #93 (color, 1989) [not seen]
Attribution: The inscription is in a very rounded hand, neither the artist'sstudio hand nor the sketch hand. It is scratched into the surface of the paint rather than painted on, suggesting that it might have been added later, at a time when the original palette was no longer available. The nearby and midrange planes of the painting are equally detailed, the waterfall does not fall naturally, and the horizon line is very low, all characteristics not found in other Schafer paintings. The brushwork is thin, exposing the texture of the canvas throughout, in contrast with Schafer's usual thick brushwork. The style is very similar to that of J. J. Englehart, a contemporary of Schafer's.
Site: A view East across the Merced River into Yosemite valley, California, at Bridal Veil meadows, with El Capitan at the left, Bridalveil Fall to the right, and Half Dome in the distance.
Description: Half Dome is seen dimly under gathering clouds. The river winds past the viewer, leaving the painting at the front edge on the right. Across the river is a sparse forest of conifers and aspen, and on the far bank are two tepees, a small figure looking directly at the viewer, and a campfire with visible flames. The sky is a very intense blue. El Capitan is a blue-grey, well-defined shape; the farther cliffs are less and less well defined. The peak to the left of the waterfall is very prominent, while the larger peak behind is seen through bluish haze. The foreground of the painting is quite detailed despite an impressionist brush. The eye is drawn immediately to the two brightly-colored tepees, which contrast starkly with the dark green and brown tones of the forest, the nearby cliff, and the water. (From the painting, 9 October 1989.)
Identification: Title from the sale catalog.

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Feb 12, 2017, 16:48 MST