Johann Gottfried Steffan
Swiss painter. He moved to Munich in 1833 after an apprenticeship as a lithographer in Wedenswil. He studied at the Akademie der Bildenden Kenste and the Polytechnikum in Munich. He was impressed by Carl Rottmann's Italian landscapes and decided to devote himself to landscape painting. He travelled to Italy in 1845 and to Paris in 1855; he subsequently began to concentrate on painting lake and mountain scenes, for example Lake Starnberg in a Storm (1873; Zurich, Ksthaus), at which he was highly successful. He undertook numerous study-visits to Bavaria and Switzerland, often accompanied by his pupils Traugott Schiess (1834-69) and Otto Frölicher. In Munich Steffan became friendly with Rudolf Koller, Johann Caspar Bosshardt (1823-87) and Arnold Becklin, and under his leadership the 'Schweizer', as these artist-friends were known collectively, formed their own group.