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Johann Gottfried Steffan - Alp in der Ramsau, 1889

   

Johann Gottfried Steffan - Alp in der Ramsau, 1889. Öl auf Leinwand, 75,5 x 101 cm.

Johann Gottfried Steffan's oeuvre is characterized by idealistic landscapes in which he preferred to depict the Swiss Alps. After his time at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, the Swiss artist made several study trips with his artist colleagues to his old home country and awakened their interest in the harmonious landscape scenes they found there.

The painting depicts the alp in Ramsau. It shows a herd of cows and goats being driven downhill by a woman. The idyllic scene radiates peace and contentment in spite of the movement, and the warm shades of green and brown offer a nice contrast to the somewhat colder-looking mountain massif in the background. On closer inspection of the details in the picture, one notices how the brushstroke, despite the realistic painting style of the entire work, is very artistic and picturesque.

Johann Gottfried Steffan - Alp in der Ramsau, 1889. Öl auf Leinwand, 75,5 x 101 cm. (Detail)

Johann Gottfried Steffan - Alp in der Ramsau, 1889. Öl auf Leinwand, 75,5 x 101 cm. (Detail)

Johann Gottfried Steffan - Alp in der Ramsau, 1889. Öl auf Leinwand, 75,5 x 101 cm. (Detail)

Johann Gottfried Steffan - Alp in der Ramsau, 1889. Öl auf Leinwand, 75,5 x 101 cm. (Detail)

Johann Gottfried Steffan - Alp in der Ramsau, 1889. Öl auf Leinwand, 75,5 x 101 cm.

About artist
Johann Gottfried Steffan
Wädenswil, 1815 — 1905

Johann Gottfried Steffan (13.12.1815, Wädenswil - 16.6.1905, Munich) was considered one of the most essential Swiss landscape painters of the 19th century. He is one of the familiar intermediaries of the Munich School. Steffan began an apprenticeship as a type lithographer before traveling to Munich in 1833 for training purposes. There he attended the Academy of Fine Arts under Peter von Cornelius. 
Inspired by Carl Rottmann, Steffan turned to realistic landscape painting. Steffan also worked together with the famous Arnold Böcklin, who certainly had a great influence on the artist's oeuvre. The artist colleagues made several study trips to the Swiss Alps, preferably to the Glarnerland and Lake Walen. In later years, Steffan visited Berchtesgaden and Ramsau several times, places that determined his choice of motifs. Steffan's work is characterized in particular by the naturalistic depiction of mountains and landscapes, which he depicts in all their wildness and magic.