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Frederick Ferdinand Schafer Painting Catalog

Painting record FFSd0327

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[photo] Willamette Valley, Oregon

Medium: oil on canvas
Size: 20 x 36 in (51 x 91 cm)
Inscription: l/r "F. Schafer", in a script that resembles the artist's characteristic block-letter hand, scratched into the paint, revealing a beige ground
Verso: "Willamet Valley, Oregon", in pencil on the canvas near the center, in an unknown script hand
Provenance: Sold August 1972 for $385 by Butterfield & Butterfield, San Francisco, to private collection, Palo Alto, California.
Exhibited: California Landscape Painting, 1860–1885, Palo Alto, California, 1975-76; Nineteenth Century Painters of the California Landscape, 1976.
Reproductions: Stanford University Visual Collection 76Q.87 (color, 1976); Early California and Western Art Research/Schafer slide #20 (color, circa 1975); William K. Dick photo #46 (color, 1972)
Citations: 1975 exhibition catalog, #5, page 50; 1976 exhibition catalog; Inventory of American Paintings… record 71063898
Description: A dramatically colored scene of (near the center) white and (on the left) grey to black clouds gathering against a blue-grey sky. In the middle distance a rocky cliff rises gradually from the left, acquires a reddish cast, then drops abruptly at the center, where a distant range of hills continues just above the horizon. In front of the cliff is an conifer forest with sections of lighter green broadleaf trees. A calm river reflects as indistinct shapes the dark forest and the white cloud, in contrast with coral-colored beaches around its edge and bright green grass on the bank to the left. On the far side of the river is a tent, in front of which smoke rises from a bright campfire, which also reflects in the water. Several birds are silhouetted against the horizon. (From the painting, 7 November 1989.)
Note: 1. In the exhibition catalog, Miller commends the painting for its handling of blustery, wind-swept clouds and the sense of atmospheric dampness. 2. A painting with the same title was offered as lot 21 on page 2 of the catalog of a 22 September 1882 auction in San Francisco but there is not enough information in that catalog to either include or exclude the possibility that it is this painting.
Identification: Title from verso inscription but using corrected spelling of the name of the area. The Inventory of American Paintings listing names the collector, but omits the title word Oregon, and gives the dimensions as "19 x 35 (sight)". The Early California and Western Art Research index identifies the slide with Miller's exhibition catalog. A note on the back of the photograph by William K. Dick gives the title as The Lonely Bluff and gives details of the Butterfield & Butterfield auction.
Other title(s): The Lonely bluff (William K. Dick photo)
In index(es): Title list, paintings not otherwise indexed by content

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May 19, 2024, 10:22 MDT Accessibility