- the warm yellow tones on the tree trunks and snow suggest late afternoon sun. The influence of the French Impressionists painters on Steele is clear in his choice of color. Steele began his studies at Waveland (IN) Collegiate Institute, then continued them in Chicago and Cincinnati. He was earning a living as a professional portraitist. With the financial support of friends and patrons, he studied in Munich, Germany from 1880 to 1885, then returned to Indianapolis, where he worked until moving permanently to Brown County in cnetral Indiana in 1907. Along with other artists who had studied in Munich, Steele returned home determined to improve the quality and reputation of American art. In rural Indiana they found a rustic yet dignified natural beauty that both rivaled European landscape and had a greater local appeal because of its American culture. Steele painted this winter scene in a small studio hut that overlooked a shallow ravine cutting through the woods near his home in Brown County. The little hut protected him from the cold, allowing him to work for long periods directly in front of his subject. This painting belonged to descendants of the artist's wife until one donated it to the Museum.
- The purple haze is characteristic of Steele's paintings of Brown County, in central Indiana, and shows here in the mists and shadows