Saturday, January 27, 2018

Johann Gottfried Steffan

Johann Gottfried Steffan (1815-1905) was a prominent Swiss landscape painter. He worked for a long time and left more than 500 paintings. Alp with Brook and Goatherd.

His Alpine paintings mostly look like these, with a dark, brooding, Romantic air. Scene in the Ramsgau near Berechtsgaden, 1874.

Study of clouds.

But when he traveled to Italy he left all the Romantic shadow behind and painted in a much lighter, brighter style, mainly using watercolors instead of oils. I love this painting, but when I did a quick search for Steffan's other paintings the first twenty that came up were all in the dark, Romantic mode, and I wondered if there had been some mistake. But the same man did all of them. Cadennabia, Lake Como.

Venice, Rio San Barnaba.

Venice, Painters' Corner.

Balbianello, Lake Como.


Venice, view toward Dogana. I wonder if his mood and personality changed as much in Italy as his style did.

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