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.