Frederick Ferdinand Schafer Painting Catalog

Artists who sign their paintings "F.S." or "FS"

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Signatures with initials only

[signature with monogrammed initials]
Monogrammed initials-only signature of Frederick Ferdinand Schafer

Some paintings are signed with just the two initials "F" and "S", which may be conjoined in a monogram. Such paintings are doubly problematic because there are many artists with the same initials and because a two-letter signature is too brief for good comparison with other, similar signatures. So far, only two paintings that are almost certainly by Frederick Ferdinand Schafer have emerged that are signed with just initials. One of these signatures is shown at the left. The two paintings are pendants and they are signed with initials conjoined with the same monogram form used by Schafer at the front of his surname to sign many of his other paintings.

Other artists who sign with initials only

Below are several examples of paintings signed only with initials. Based on composition, style, and palette, it is unlikely that any of these are by Frederick Ferdinand Schafer. The first of these paintings is identified on the back as being by Fred Swanwell (1844-1916) who, according to Hughes, Edan Milton, Artists in California, 1786–1940, was a landscape artist who lived in Sacramento, California. The second is attributed to Swanwell. The basis for that attribution is not known, but both the overall style and the appearance of the signature initials do resemble that of the first painting.

The next three paintings seem to be by different, unidentified artists who share the initials "F.S." Unfortunately, some of the available signature details are too low in resolution to allow useful comparisons.

The last four paintings have monogrammed signatures that are distinctively different from Schafer's. In addition, they are of quite different genres.

Sentinel Rock, Yosemite Valley
by Fred Swanwell

Oil on canvas, 26 x 20 in
Owner's photograph
[painting image] [signature image] [verso title]
[Scene near Salt Lake, UT]
by "F.S.", attributed to Fred Swanwell

Oil on canvas, 18 x 13 in
Pacific Galleries, Seattle (2005)
Dealer's photograph
[painting image] [signature image]
[Mount Rainier at sunset]
signed "FS 190?"

Oil on canvas, 30 x 60 in
Seattle Art Museum (deaccessioned)
Clar's Auction Gallery photograph
[painting image] [signature image]
Sacramento River
signed "F.S."

Oil on panel, 8 x 6 in
eBay vendor
Vendor's photograph
[painting image] [signature image]
[Victorian pastoral scene]
signed "F.S. 1864"

oil on canvas, 36 x 48 in (est.)
owner's photograph, 2021
[painting image] [signature image]
Drawing of a Horse
signed "FS" (monogram 1)

Watercolor/gouache on paper, 7 x 8.5 in
owner's photograph, 2006
[painting image] [signature image]
signed "FS" (monogram 2)

unreported medium and size
owner's photograph, 2024
[painting image] [signature image]
[Times Square, 1982]
signed "FS"(monogram 3)

unreported medium and size
dealer's photograph, 2016
[painting image] [signature image]
[Woman with Keys]
signed "FS" (monogram 4)

unreported medium and size
owner's photograph, 2019
[painting image] [signature image]
signed "FS" (monogram 5)

Watercolor & pencil on paper
dealer's photograph, 2022
[painting image] [signature image]

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May 21, 2024, 14:40 MDT Accessibility