Johann Gottfried Steffan

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JG Steffan in his studio
Self portrait
Young shepherd with goats and sheep , 1858

Johann Gottfried Steffan (born December 13, 1815 in Wädenswil , † June 16, 1905 in Munich ) was one of the most important Swiss landscape painters of the 19th century . He is one of the well-known representatives of the Munich School . He was the father of Arnold Steffan (1848–1882).


After an apprenticeship as a type lithographer in his home town, Steffan traveled to Munich in 1833 for further training . He attended the local Academy of Fine Arts under Peter von Cornelius . Under the influence of Carl Rottmann , he turned to realistic landscape painting . Steffan's studio became the focus of Swiss artists in Munich. Arnold Böcklin , among others, worked in his studio . With numerous colleagues - including Rudolf Koller - he went on study trips to the Swiss Alps , preferably to the Glarnerland and the Walensee . In later years he increasingly visited Berchtesgaden and Ramsau , where he found many of his motifs. Steffan's pictures are idealized landscapes of the Munich School , preferably mountain representations. At least a third are pre-Alpine landscapes.

Major works


  • Rudolf Steffan: Johann Gottfried Steffan. Landscape painter . In: New Year's Gazette of the Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft, 1909
  • Gottfried Jedlicka: Johann Gottfried Steffan. Landscape painter (1815–1905) . In: Neujahrsblatt der Lesegesellschaft Wädenswil, 9, 1938. Wädenswil, 1937
  • Johann Gottfried Steffan. Landscape painter 1815–1905 . Kunsthaus Glarus, 1955. Text: Fritz Brunner
  • Eva Sandor-Schneebeli: Johann Gottfried Steffan. Mont d'Orge near Sion . In: Report of the Gottfried Keller Foundation, 1963–65, pp. 66–70
  • Adrian Scherrer (ed.): Grüner Heinrich: CVs between failure and success: Johann Gottfried Steffan and the Swiss painters in Munich from 1840 to 1890 . - Stäfa: Gut, 2005. - ISBN 3-85717-163-4 (reviewed by Norbert Wolf in: sehepunkte 6 (2006), no.3 ).

Web links

Commons : Johann Gottfried Steffan  - Collection of images, videos and audio files