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Frederick Ferdinand Schafer Painting Catalog

Painting record FFSd0336

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[photo] The Yosemity Valley - California [5]

Medium: oil on canvas, lined
Size: 30 x 48 in (76 x 122 cm)
Inscription: l/r "Frederick Scháfer", in the artist's characteristic block-letter hand, underlined, with the "h" and "f" descending below the underline.
Verso: said to be "The Yosemity Valley - California" before lining
Provenance: Offered in 1978 by Jim Finlinson Antiques, Berkeley, California, then by Garzoli Gallery, then in 1979 by Wortsman Stewart Galleries, Inc., San Francisco. In private collection, Northern California, 1992.
Reproductions: Early California and Western Art Research/Schafer slide #49 (color, 1979, 1992); Garzoli Gallery photo (color, 1978)
Site: View East into Yosemite Valley, California, from atop the Topinemete bluffs along the old Mariposa trail, probably at Inspiration point.
Description: El Capitan on the left is struck by a very bright vertical stripe of sunlight behind a pair of tall conifers. Cathedral Rocks appear on the right, with Bridalveil Fall below, half-obscured by the brightly sunlit slope of the nearby hillside. Half Dome is crisply clear in the distance against a blue sky with a few fluffy clouds, and Sentinel rock is in full view, silhouetted against a dark mountainside beyond. The Merced River crisscrosses the distant valley below. An Indian woman in an orange and red dress and carrying a papoose stands with a staff, talking with an Indian seated on a rock at the side of the trail while a child stands in her shadow. The foreground is shadowed, but bright and filled with green brush. Another pair of tall conifers stands on the right, intertwined almost as a single tree while a snag stands behind them and slightly to the right. Farther back, the trees are again clustered in pairs or threes; they gradually become more and more dense and the trail finally disappears into a forest. The painting is very bright, using unsaturated colors throughout except in the green foliage of a few conifers in the middle distance. (From a color photograph.)
Note: This is one of several Schafer paintings of Yosemite Valley in which the tall foreground conifers are clustered in pairs or threes. Other examples are the small watercolor [Three hikers entering Yosemite Valley], oils The Yosemite Valley from Artist's Point, California [4], [The Yosemite Valley 13] (1881), [Yosemite Valley from Artist's Point, California 5], and the mural The Yosemite Valley (mural) (1895).
Identification: Title from reported verso inscription. Despite title variations, the three photographs all appear to be of the same painting. When the painting was rephotographed in 1992 the title had the added words "from Inspiration Point"
Other title(s): The Yosemite Valley, California (Wortsman Stewart Galleries, Inc. and Early California and Western Art Research); The Yosemite Valley from Inspiration Point (Early California and Western Art Research)
In index(es): Title list, Yosemite Valley--classic view, twenty representative works by the artist

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Mar 10, 2024, 11:47 MDT Accessibility