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Frederick Ferdinand Schafer Painting Catalog

Painting record FFSd0756

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[photo] [Still life with watermelon and banana]
Photo credit: Roy Farrington Jones, 2003
Date: undated, probably circa 1905
Medium: oil on artist's board
Size: 10 x 17 in (25 x 43 cm)
Inscription: l/r "F.Schàfer" in Schafer's sketch hand, underlined
Verso: none reported
Provenance: Sold in 2002 by eBay, Incorporated; to collection of Edan Milton Hughes, San Francisco; transferred on his passing 21 April 2015 to his estate; sold 21 May 2016 as lot 4554 by Clar's Auction Gallery, Oakland, California; to private collection, Boulder Creek, California.
Reproductions: Clar's Auction Gallery, 21 May 2016 sale catalog
Citations: Personal communication, 2003.
Attribution: The subject matter and style are not at all typical of Schafer, though the illumination, palette, and brushwork are similar to that of his landscapes, with a bright central focus and shadows from a consistent light source.
Description: A collection of fruit on a table, consisting of a watermelon that has been torn open, a second small green melon partially hiding a basket of strawberries, four apples or pomegranates, a cluster of grapes, two cherries, two small plums, and a banana, all illuminated from the upper left corner.
Note: (1) The presence of a banana in the picture suggests a date after 1900, because refrigeration needed to successfully import bananas into the United States was not available until then. (2) This painting is one of a series of at least three similar still lifes. One is dated 1905, suggesting that all may have been executed circa 1905. For comparison, see [Still Life in plein air] and [Still life with fruit]. The latter painting is of identical size as this one and when acquired in 2009 had the same original frame, and thus may have been intended as a pendant.

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Sep 25, 2016, 22:00 MDT Comments, corrections, or questions: Saltzer@mit.edu