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Frederick Ferdinand Schafer Painting Catalog

Problematic painting record FFSp1106

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[photo] [Landscape with Dirt Road and Field of Flowers]
Photo credit: Owner's photograph, 2019
Date: not dated, probably before 1871 (see note)
Medium: oil on canvas
Size: 60 x 100 cm (24 x 40 in)
Inscription: Signed l/r "F. Schäfer, in what appears to be the artist's characteristic block-printing hand.
Verso: (none)
Provenance: In private collection, Warthausen, Baden-Württenburg, Germany, by 2015.
Citations: Personal communications with the owner in 2015, 2019, and 2023.
Attribution: The abstract style of the painting is significantly different from the style of other works by Frederick Ferdinand Schafer, but the signature not only resembles his, it is constructed with the same strokes in the same order. In addition, the botanically accurate trees, the sky treatment, the lack of detail in distant planes, and the bright spots of color in the foreground wildflowers are all characteristic of his work. As best as one can tell from a photograph, the brushwork is also similar. On the other hand the uniform illumination is not characteristic and the perspective of the road seems slightly distorted, which is at odds with his usual mastery of that aspect. The palette includes extensive use of a pink coral shade, which usually appears only as an accent in an individual foreground flower.
Note: This painting may be an early work by Frederick Ferdinand Schafer before his 1871 emigration to America, perhaps an academic exercise. The canvas is a standard metric size, so it was probably acquired in Europe. On the other hand the artist could be someone else who shares the same surname and first initial and happens to also share the same block-printing signature style.
Legend: Found in the attic of a house purchased in Germany.
Identification: Assigned, descriptive title.
In index(es): pastoral and rural scenes, questioned attributions

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Mar 10, 2024, 11:47 MDT Accessibility