Frederick Ferdinand Schafer Painting Catalog

5.2 Other artists named Schafer: Heinrich Hermann Schäfer

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Heinrich Hermann Schäfer (German, circa 1815 – ?)1, 2

[painting image]

[Ehrenfels Castle]
by Heinrich Hermann Schäfer

Materials and size not reported
Collectors Weekly, 2012
Owner's photograph

Heinrich Hermann Schäfer, a portrait lithographer and painter of genre and castle scenes, was a Victorian-era artist born in Halberstadt, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, who studied at the Düsseldorf Academy with Carl Ferdinand Sohn.3 Since this subject matter differs so dramatically from that of Frederick F. Schafer there is little chance of confusing their paintings. However, because of the similarity in their names and the overlap in their times of active work the cathedral and townscape paintings of Henri Schäfer are often misattributed to this German artist and the catalogs of auction houses regularly confuse the two artists.

This artist has been variously reported to sign "Heinr. Schäfer", "Herm. Schaefer" and with the letters "HHS" conjoined in a monogram.4 Since the artist's surname and both of his given names are quite common, the known image examples are quite varied, and there is some disagreement as to his death year, it is possible that more than one artist shares the name, the birth year, and the birth place.

For reference, at the left is an example of a painting by Heinrich Hermann Schäfer and at the right are two examples of his signature, the first from that painting,

[signature inscription] [signature inscription]

[painting image]

(title not reported)
by Heinrich Hermann Schäfer
Oil on Canvas, 60 x 80 cm, 2021
Owner's photograph

The unauthenticated painting at the left, advertised for sale on an on-line marketplace by the seller "Sander", contains at the lower right an example of the signature "Herm. Schäfer".

[signature inscription]

[painting image]

Bildnis der Henriette Sophie Spiegel zum Desenberg
by Heinrich Hermann Schäfer

Lithograph, 31 x 26 cm
Gleimhaus Halberstadt, 2012

The lithograph at the left is inscribed "Lith. v. Herm. Schäfer. // Druck b. Gebr". It is one of several similarly inscribed lithograph portraits held by the Gleimhaus Museum of German Enlightenment in Halberstadt.
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1. Heinrich Hermann Schäfer's birth year (circa 1815) and birthplace of Halberstadt, Germany, are from Benezit, Emmanuel, Dictionnaire Critique et Documentaire des Peintres,…, vol. 12, 1999 edition, and are repeated by many on-line secondary sources, though often omitting the "circa".

2. Benezit does not list a death year, nor does the Dutch Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie (RKD), which otherwise provides extensive citations in its biographical sketch of Heinrich Schäfer. Less authoritative sources sometimes report a death year but they do not agree. The Museum Association of Saxony-Anhalt reports a death year of 1873 and that date is quoted in several European secondary sources. Many American secondary sources such as AskArt report the death year as 1884, do not cite a primary source, and their image examples are of paintings actually by Henri Schäfer. Art UK reports the death year as 1905 and also offers image examples of paintings by Henri Schäfer. (All web pages retrieved 7 October 2021).

3. Quoting Benezit supra, note 1:

Schafer Heinrich ou Hermann
Né vers 1815 à Halberstadt. XIX siècle. Allemand
Pientre de paysages, aquarelliste
Il fut eleve a l'Academie de Dusseldorf de C. F. Sohn.

4. The report of the monogram signature "HHS" for Heinrich Hermann Schäfer is from a 29 May 2016 Skinner (Boston) auction of two village square scenes (retrieved 26 January 2017).

A photograph of that signature, at the right, seems to indicate that the monogram consists of two vertical bars with an overlaid "S" providing the crossbars for the two "H" initials. The resolution of the photograph is a bit too low to evaluate that signature and it appears that there may be more of the inscription to the right and left of the monogram. [signature image]

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Oct 8, 2021, 15:14 MDT Accessibility