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Frederick Ferdinand Schafer Painting Catalog

Painting record FFSd1018

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[photo] [Mountain composition 3 (Matterhorn? and Dent d'Hérens?)]

Date: n.d.
Medium: oil on canvas
Size: 22 x 36 in (56 x 92 cm)
Inscription: l/l "F. Shaefer" in red in a block-printing hand similar to but with more rounded letters than the usual signature by Frederick F. Schafer.
Verso: none reported
Provenance: Sold in the 1980s by an antique shop near Searsport, Maine; to private collection, central Virginia.
Citations: Personal communication with the owner, 2015.
Attribution: Both the painting and the signature are mysterious. The profile of the background mountains resembles that of the Matterhorn and the Dent d'Hérens in the Swiss Alps. But rather than a neatly manicured Swiss valley that has been picked clean by generations of villagers gathering firewood, the mountains are viewed through a debris-laden valley typical of the Rocky Mountains, the Sierras, or the Cascades of the western United States. A sailboat unexpectedly appears on the wilderness lake, adding another dissonant note to the painting. The composition as a whole is typical of Frederick Schafer, with framing mountainsides and conifers, botanically accurate trees, natural appearing water, detailed foreground, receding less-finished planes, central focus by illumination, consistent source of light, and his usual palette. But the signature misspells his surname and the letters are more rounded than his usual hand. Conjecture: the painting is by Schafer, but intended as a joke and the strange signature is either part of that joke or was added later by someone else.
Site: Appears to be a composite. See the discussion of attribution.
Identification: Assigned, descriptive title.

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Feb 13, 2017, 11:05 MST