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Lot 418

FREDERICK SCHAFER CASTLE ROCK PAINTING

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Original oil painting on canvas by listed artist, Frederick Ferdinand Schafer (CA, Germany, 1839 - 1927), signed lower left. Features Castle Rock in the scenic Columbia River Gorge in Washington State. The rock was known as "Castle Rock" until, in 1916, the United States Board of Geographic Names restored the name "Beacon Rock." Art measures 30" tall and 20" wide mounted in a frame measuring 36"x 26".

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He is well known within a community of collectors of and dealers in western art, mostly in California and the Pacific Northwest. Schafer's training in Germany is unknown. His work resembles that of the Düsseldorf school and contemporary newspaper writers sometimes suggested a connection. He had studios in San Francisco from 1880 through 1886 and in his homes in Alameda and Oakland from 1887 until his death.

He apparently spent summers sketching in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, British Columbia, and Alaska and many of his paintings bear verso titles with locations in those states and provinces. Most Schafer landscapes are summer scenes, probably because the majestic scenes he frequently painted were difficult to visit in the winter.

A member of the San Francisco Art Association for many years, he regularly exhibited his paintings at the Mechanics Institute exhibitions in that city.
Schafer's overall style is that of the nineteenth-century American realist landscape tradition, taking maximum advantage of the dramatic western American landscape and with a strong element of naturalism--a preference to capture the impression of an object such as a tree rather than to provide photographic detail of it.