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Frederick Ferdinand Schafer Painting Catalog

Painting record FFSd0746

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[photo] [Mountain landscape (Mount Rainier?)] (attributed)
Photo credit: Matthew's Galleries, Lake Oswego, Oregon, 2004
Date: undated
Medium: oil on canvas
Size: 18 x 24 inches (46 x 61 cm)
Inscription: no inscription
Verso: no inscription
Provenance: With Matthew's Galleries, Lake Oswego, Oregon, 2004, #4596
Citations: Personal communication
Attribution: Being unsigned, the attribution of this painting is of concern. Here is a list of points that seem to support attributing the painting to Schafer. (1) Typical subject--a western stratovolcano viewed over a lake. (2) Typical composition--distant mountain near center, framed by foreground trees and hillside, boulders at front, water in lower center. (3) Typical structure--four or five distinct planes, with degree of finish higher on foreground planes, lower on distant planes. (4) Typical use of light, with bright areas drawing the eye to the center, consistent direction of light source and shadows. (5) Typical palette--mostly blues, browns, and greens, with sky a silvery blue with hints of pink, bright color on details such leaves and flowers on nearby plants. (6) Typical detail--standing and down snags, wildflower and brush, and botanically accurate trees and plants. (7) Natural appearance of water, but without detailed reflections. (8) Emerged in an area where Schafer is known to have worked and sold paintings.

Arguing against the attribution, we have (1) Several of the above characteristics (e.g., composition, some aspects of structure, use of light, and palette) tend to be found in the work of many Duesseldorf school painters. (2) Unsigned paintings by Schafer are rare. (3) A majority of Schafer paintings have verso title inscriptions. (4) The canvas size of 18 x 24 inches is unique for a Schafer painting-- several 12 x 24, 14 x 24, 16 x 24, and 18 x 36 paintings are known, but this is the only 18 x 24.

This evidence, taken as a whole, tilts somewhat in favor of attributing the painting to Schafer.

Site: Uncertain, perhaps Mount Rainier, with Little Tahoma in the background, viewed across Lake Mowich.
Identification: Assigned descriptive title.

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Feb 13, 2017, 11:05 MST