ALBERT (OR ALBRECHT) SCHENCK (1828-1901)
- PAGE 06 -
LOST: SOUVENIR OF AUVERGNE (1873)
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Here I present an image from a visitor to my site who bought an old home & found this Albert Schenck work in the attic. Entitled 'Lost in the Storm'. Is it not a lovely painting! And frame! I think that we now believe this in fact to be a chromolitho (a coloured lithograph) & not a painting. This litho must have been very popular indeed. It was painted, I believe in 1873. It was republished as an insert to the New York Tribune on Sunday, Apr. 18, 1909 and again by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and by Pictorial Review Magazine, both in 1924. And who knows - maybe republished many other times too. I would still like to locate for this page a good image of the whole work, taken straight on & in good detail.
Now I believe that the original of this work, an oil on canvas of 58 x 97 3/4 in. in size, is in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street, New York, and has been there since 1887 - as part of the Catharine Lorillard Wolfe (1828/1887) Collection (Catharine would seem to have died at age 59 - the painting being part of her bequest).
And the work itself may correctly be named 'Lost: Souvenir of Auvergne'
You can see my source for some of that data here. At left, is the image available from the Metropolitan Museum of Art site referred to above. In black & white, but beautiful. I trust that the museum will not object to my showing the image here. The work is, I see, not on public display as this page is updated in Sep. 2013. It is available as a large black & white image at that Museum link. But I have difficulty in providing a link to the full screen version.
And an image of another print of the same work, courtesy of JoAnn Speidel of Tampa Bay, Florida. Originally framed, a great many years ago, in Elmira, Ontario, Canada, I understand.
An image of another print of the work thanks to Jennifer Diaz. The print bears a discrete but distinctive image of a tiny flower at bottom left - but the significance of it is not known to the webmaster.
I refer above to the work having been published in Pictorial Review Magazine in 1924. That data must be incorrect, because an issue of Pictorial Review Magazine (a womens magazine of 84 pages and 14 x 11 inches in size) was sold via e-Bay in Sep. 2006 - for U.S. $12.49. It was dated Jan. 1925 with a cover by 'Earl Christy'. A composite image of the work and of the interesting cover, appears next. Another copy of that very same issue was sold in Mar. 2007 for U.S. $39.77. Surely Pictorial Review Magazine would not reissue in 1925 what they published in 1924. A print, which was available in May 2007, is marked as being by 'The U.S. Printing and Lithograph Co. New York, N.Y. Facsimile No. 506.' No indication of dating, however.
And here, ex a long-expired e-Bay listing, is the 'Pictorial Review' page and 'Lost' image. This is the best image of the work that I have, so here is perhaps a good place to address a visitor's question - which she then answered for herself and for me! Whether there is a human figure in the work. It would seem that there is. The dark area at the base of the cross is, I understand, the shepherd 'clinging to the cross for support against the wind.'
There are many questions as to the breed of dog that is depicted in 'Found' on page 8 of this site. But until now, in Jul. 2005, no comments have been received about the dogs in the work above. But in a most interesting message, Sue Harpell, of Edgecomb, Maine, U.S.A., advises me as follows. Sue, we thank you!
The dogs in the painting 'Lost' are believed to be a rare breed called 'Berger des Pyrenees'. These dogs also go by the name of 'Labrit' (although some say the Labrit is actually a bit larger dog that looks very much like the Berger des Pyrenees but was used in the low lands), Petite Berger or Pyrenean Shepherd. There are two varieties of the Berger Des Pyrenees, a smooth faced and a rough faced dog. The smooth faced is the black dog in the picture (Sue believes) and the rough faced the smaller fawn dog. These dogs were used in the high mountains of the Pyrenees to herd sheep - a most phenomenal dog. It is my impression that these dogs appear in some of the other paintings by Schenck as well, but the dogs in these other paintings are not as readily identifiable as the ones shown in 'Lost'. The Berger des Pyrenees usually has cropped ears and quite often a docked tail. Once the ears have healed and the coat grows out, the ears as well as the structure of this dog, gives the appearance of a small bear. There is one particular French society that specializes in the Berger des Pyrénées and indeed administers the breed standard. That society is the 'Réunion des Amateurs de Chiens Pyrénéens' (or R.A.C.P.) whose website is here. Alain Pécoult is the President.
I understand that that the 'Réunion des Amateurs de Chiens Pyrénéens' or R.A.C.P. was established long ago, in 1901. It is affiliated with 'la Société Centrale Canine', the highest authority respecting dogs in France. The French Ministry of Agriculture granted it, in 1969, both the right and the responsibility to administer the breed standard for Pyrenean dog breeds generally, including this particular breed.
Should you wish to read more about the breed, a brief history in English is available here, from the Pyrenean Sheepdog Club of Great Britain.
And next a composite image of the 'Berger des Pyrénées'. For your viewing pleasure.
And a composite image of the breed with two images kindly provided by Christian Janes. To better show the 'Berger des Pyrénées' 'rough faced' dog. Christian breeds the dogs at his 'de la Vallée du Mouton' kennels at Zieglstadl, in Austria. The image at right was taken in the French Pyrenees - how appropriate.
The dogs have names which are longer than yours or mine! At left is 'Iquette de la Vallée du Mouton' while at right are (left) 'CH. Oriege de la Vallée du Mouton' & (right) 'Chester de la Vallée du Mouton'. All are dogs from Christian's kennel.
It would seem that not everyone believes that the dog so often featured in Schenck's works is a 'Berger des Pyrenees'! 'Stephanie', from Texas, advises that she believes the dog to be a Belgian Sheepdog or 'Groenendael'. 'If you look at the sheep, the black dog is putting itself between the danger, and the sheep, something this dog does naturally. They are abundant in France and obviously in Belgium also.' What is shown in the painting, Stephanie states, is a long haired male; there is no mistaking that beautiful long haired silhouette, & face.
Stephanie has provided a link to the herding history page of the 'Belgian Sheepdog Club of America'. Stephanie also refers to a WW1 story where a few 'Groenendael's fought off an attack by wolves and kept them at bay all night'. In Sherry Comstock's 'Belgians: From Start to Finished', published in 1997. Perhaps we will in due course be able to show you some quality images of what a 'Groenendael' looks like. You may find this 'pdf' page to be of interest re the breed. And this fun image also.
E-Bay sure is an invaluable research tool! I learn that 'Lost' was featured in a series of Victorian Trade Cards published by the Candee Rubber Company (or perhaps L. Candee Rubber Company) of New Haven, Connecticut. That company was, I read, founded in 1843 and in 1844 was licensed by Charles Goodyear to make vulcanized rubber overshoes after Goodyear obtained a patent for his rubber vulcanizing process. Candee produced advertising throughout for the 50 years it was in business - until 1892 when it merged with or became U.S. Rubber Co. (not sure which). These particular trade cards were a series of ten of the world's most famous paintings with descriptions of the works and Candee's advertising on the reverse - and produced in two sizes of 6 x 8 inches and 5 1/4 x 9 inches. The 'Lost' work is of the latter size and features the Candee 'Storm King' boot on the back. You could get a set of five cards at the time for 8 cents payable in stamps or coin to be sent to the Advertising Department of Candee at 15 Murray Street, in New York.
The other nine works were: 'Reading from Homer' by Alma Tadema, 'The Ferryman' by Emile Bayard, 'Queen Louise' by Gustave Richter, 'The Storm' by Pierre Auguste Cot, 'The Dutchess of Devonshire' by Thomas Gainsborough RA, 'The Departure for Church' by Frederick Kaemmerer, 'The Horse Fair' by Rosa Bonheur, 'The Imperial Courier' by Adolph Schreyer and 'The Wedding Feast' by Konstantin Makovski.
And here, without more ado, are two composite images. Firstly the Schenck Candee card, using images kindly provided by Samantha Prince of Central Pennsylvania. Thank you so very much, Samantha! And secondly, the enlarged words on the rear of the card which described the Schenck painting along with a charming but unrelated (to Schenck) L. Candee Rubber Company advertisement of the time.
And finally, for now at least on this page, are two postcard images of the work, the top one dating, so the e-Bay vendor indicates, from the early 1900s & issued, as you can see, by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Sold in Feb. 2004 for U.S. $16.50.
More about the above work when I have more to tell you! And if you have any more data on the subject, do please contact me.
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