< Tour Previous

Frederick Ferdinand Schafer Painting Catalog

Painting record FFSd0180

Tour next >

[photo] Mountain of the Holy Cross [1]
Photo credit: Bruce Davies, Craigdarroch Castle Historical Museum Society, 2020
Medium: oil on canvas
Size: 30 x 50 in (75 x 127 cm)
Inscription: l/r "F. Schäfer", in orange, umlaut resembles a circumflex
Verso: l/r "Mountain of the holy Cross", in black brush, in the artist's characteristic block printing hand. On the stretcher: u/c "85" in pencil. On frame: "No 1", in pencil; l and r, stamp of "T. J. Sass & Co./ 14 & 15 Ellis St. S.F." with icon of an eagle; several unidentified squiggles, in pencil.
Provenance: In collection of Joan Olive (Mrs. Robert) Dunsmuir, Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria, British Columbia, by 1909; to her estate; with H. W. Davies, M.A.A., & Sons, Auctioneers, 21 June 1909; to collection of Vincent Clinton Maddock, Vancouver, British Columbia; bequeathed to The Craigdarroch Castle Historical Museum Society, May 1973. (See comment in Identification section.)
Exhibited: Currently on permanent public display in the castle, in the dining room, West wall.
Citations: Lot 105 in the catalog of the 21 June 1909 auction sale. Dorothy Wrotnowski, (Victoria, British Columbia) The Daily Colonist, 21 March 1969; Annual meeting minutes of the Craigdarroch Castle Society, 1972; James K. Nesbitt, (Victoria, British Columbia) The Daily Colonist, 10 August 1973; James K. Nesbitt, The Vancouver Sun 29 July 1970 and 9 June 1973; Nesbitt, James K., Craigdarroch Castle, panel 7; Reksten, Terry, Craigdarroch: The Story of Dunsmuir Castle, 1987, page 41; Reksten, Terry, A Guide to Craigdarroch, page 16; Craigdarroch Castle accession file 983.784; Trenton, Patricia and Peter H. Hassrick, The Rocky Mountains, page 358 (footnote 175).
Site: The Mount of the Holy Cross is in the North Sawatch range of the Rocky Mountains, located directly west of Denver, and south of Vail, Colorado. In the painting, the "Cross" is not identifiable, perhaps because the scene depicts late summer and much of the snow that outlines it has melted.
Description: A snow-capped, rugged mountain stands at the center under a blue sky with white clouds at the right and dark clouds at the left; the sun comes from off the canvas at the left. The view is through the valley of a whitewater river, with evergreen forested slopes on both sides. On the left behind a boulder stands a tall prominent conifer, probably a Jeffrey Pine, silhouetted against the sky. (From the painting, 11 September 1998.)
Note: (1) Reksten, Terry, Craigdarroch: The Story of Dunsmuir Castle suggests that Craigdarroch may have originally acquired this painting in a September 1891 auction (Vancouver Daily World, September 1891) held by Schafer in Vancouver, British Columbia. (2) The entire contents of Craigdarroch were sold at auction in 1909. The auction catalog lists eight paintings by Schafer; a painting with the title Mount of Holy Cross was among the contents of the dining room. According to Nesbitt in the The Vancouver Sun article, in recent years some effort went into reacquiring as many of the auctioned paintings as possible. This painting, acquired as part of that effort, is believed by Craigdarroch to be one of the original paintings but complete provenance documentation is lacking.
Identification: Craigdarroch Castle identifies the current painting with the one sold in 1909. The identification discussion concerning continuity of provenance of Mount Tacoma, view from The Dalles, Oregon also presumably applies to this painting. The brochure by Nesbitt, and his articles in the The Vancouver Sun and (Victoria, British Columbia) The Daily Colonist, interchange the provenance of this painting with that of [The California Alps], but the minutes of the 1972 annual meeting of the Craigdarroch Castle Society identify Maddock as the donor of this painting. Trenton, Patricia and Peter H. Hassrick, The Rocky Mountains refers to this painting but the comment (suggesting that the painting may be a composite of a photograph by Jackson and a painting by Moran) was probably intended to apply to [Mountain of the Holy Cross 2].
Other title(s): Mount of Holy Cross (1909 auction catalog)
In index(es): Title list, miscellaneous other well-known landmarks, paintings currently held in museums and public collections

Title list
Other lists
Help About the Artist Copyright Notice Schafer Catalog Home Page
Comments, corrections, or questions: Saltzer@mit.edu
Mar 10, 2024, 11:47 MDT Accessibility