Frederick Ferdinand Schafer Painting Catalog

3.3 Constructing the art: Other inscriptions

[Previous section: Signature inscriptions]

Other inscriptions

(Note: More information about each painting that bears an inscription illustrated here can be obtained by clicking on the image of the inscription and then on the title of the painting.)

Verso Title Inscriptions

An important feature found on roughly two out of three of Schafer's paintings is a descriptive title inscribed on the back by the artist, using a somewhat less extreme version of his block-letter hand. These title inscriptions, which can be quite helpful in attributing doubtful, unsigned, or incorrectly signed paintings, are usually applied by a brush on the unprimed back of the canvas, using a vaguely Germanic block printing style with short, straight or slightly curved lines.

[verso title inscription]

[verso title inscription]

[verso title inscription]

[verso title inscription]

The following inscription was found on the back of a painting signed "T. Hill". The inscription is one of several elements that together compellingly argue for reattribution of the painting to Schafer.

[verso title inscription]

Other Verso Inscriptions

Occasionally, verso inscriptions appear in a cursive script hand. Here is an example of a presentation inscription that is probably in the artist's own script hand:

[verso presentation inscription]

An inscription in the same cursive hand, identifying the artist and his studio, found on the back of a watercolor:

[verso identification inscription]

And some paintings bear a verso price inscription:

[verso price inscription]

Occasionally one also finds inscriptions in pencil on the stretcher bars, but these are in a variety of block-printing and cursive hands, and may have been applied by owners, auctioneers, or dealers.

More verso inscription examples:

Verso inscriptions in the cursive script hand of the artist:
Near Felton, Santa Cruz Mountains, California
Summer evening on the upper Russian River, California

Verso inscriptions in the artist's block-letter hand:
Autumn in the Adorondacks [3]
Evening on Fallen Leaf Lake, California [1]
Evening on Goose Lake
Evening on the Lake Tahoe [2]
In the Grass Valley
Lassen Peak, Sierra Nevada Mountains, California
Morning in the Adirondacks [1]
Morning, Mount Shasta, California
Mount Tacoma, view from The Dalles, Oregon
Mountain of the Holy Cross [1]
Olympic Mountains, Washington [1]
The Olympic Range from Victoria, British Columbia
On the Passaic River, New York
Silver Lake
Sunset on Mount Shasta from Cape Horn
Upper Sacramento River and Mount Shasta
Morning on Silver Lake, California [1]
Indians in the Lava Beds
On the Bosporus, Turkey [1]
Morning in the redwoods, California [1]
Evening on the Salmon River, Idaho
Mount Shasta [21]
Bear Lake in the Wasatch Mountains, Utah [2]
In Sacramento Valley, near Marysville, California
The Bridal Veil Fall, Yosemite Valley, California, 900 Feet High [9]
Evening on Castle Rock, Columbia River [1]
Mount Rainier from Columbia River, Oregon (?)
Near Victoria, British Columbia [2]
Mount Hood from the Dalles, Oregon [3]
Bear Lake, Wasatch Mountains, Utah [6]
Morning in the Tropics
On the Columbia River
Evening on the Powder Mill Creek, California
Morning in the woods [3]
Evening near New Jersey
Moonlight in the Santa Cruz Mountains, California
Yosemite Valley, California [17]
In the White Mountains [1]
Autumn Evening in the White Mountains, New Hampshire [1]

Verso inscriptions in a different hand, probably not the artist's, on paintings apparently by Schafer:
Carmel Mission, California
Indian encampment on the Salmon River, Idaho (attributed)
Indian Head in the Lava Beds

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Mar 10, 2024, 11:47 MDT Accessibility