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Frederick Ferdinand Schafer Painting Catalog

Problematic painting record FFSp0873

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[photo] [Grand Canyon, Arizona]

Medium: oil on canvas
Size: 31 x 31 in (79 x 79 cm)
Inscription: l/r "F. Schafer" in a rounded printing style like that found on most Schafer sketches.
Verso: On the upper stretcher bar, "Grand Canyon Arizona", on a side stretcher bar "F Schafer", both in a cursive script.
Provenance: In private collection, Studio City, California; sold 17 February 2009 for $1380 by John Moran Auctioneers, Inc., Pasadena, California, as lot #114 in "California and American Fine Art" sale; to private collection, southern California.
Reproductions: John Moran Auctioneers, Inc. 17 February 2009 sale catalog
Attribution: Despite the signature, this is a puzzling painting that raises questions about its attribution. There is no (other) evidence that Schafer ever visited Grand Canyon. The overall composition is roughly what one might expect from Schafer for this scene; the canyon walls frame the painting, there are a modest number of receding planes that are not intricately tied together, and the lighting focuses on the central area where the party of Indians stands. However, the style is unusual for Schafer and the palette is very limited, considering the wide range of colors that one might expect for this scene. The size and square shape are also unique.
Note: 1. Despite its large size, The painting appears to be a sketch. No part of it appears to be highly finished. 2. The painting looks like a depiction of the Grand Canyon by an artist who has never actually visited the place. The uneroded pinnacles and lack of horizontal layers in the canyon walls suggest that this scene is imaginary. 3. The white spots in the lower left of the painting are said to be bits of drywall stuck to the surface. 4. The John Moran Auctioneers, Inc. listing says that that the painting is inscripted and numbered in pencil on the stretcher "Spring Sunlight No. 12" but that inscription is not apparent in the available photograph.
Identification: Title from inscription on verso stretcher bar.
In index(es): miscellaneous other well-known landmarks, sketches, questioned attributions

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May 19, 2024, 10:22 MDT Accessibility