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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: In collection of Edan Milton Hughes, San Francisco, 2002.
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, so all probably were executed circa 1905. For comparison, see [Still Life in Plein Air] and [Still life with Fruit]. The latter painting is of identical size, and thus may have been intended as a pendant of this painting.

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Jan 19, 2016, 21:34 MST Comments, corrections, or questions: Saltzer@mit.edu