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Emanuel Steiner

1778–1831, Winterthur

The landscape painter and etcher Emanuel Steiner was a pupil of Johann Rudolf Schellenberg, who had an extremely productive career as an etcher and illustrator in Basel and Winterthur in the last three decades of the 18th century. In the years 1796–98 Steiner received further artistic training from Anton Graff in Dresden, after which he spent the years 1803–04 in Rome and Paris. In the subsequent period Steiner worked in Winterthur as a painter (specializing in landscapes and floral themes), draughtsman and etcher. His collection of engravings forms the basis of the holdings of the Graphisches Kabinett there. Steiner’s drawing style was initially strongly influenced by the example of the 17th century Dutch masters, yet he also worked directly from the landscape, and these studies show a freer and more spontaneous feeling for nature. The differentiated technique and painterly treatment of Steiner’s etchings are reminiscent of the printmaking style of Johann Christian Reinhart.