Born in Antwerp in 1859, Steppe studied art under the direction of Van Haarde, Boland and Meyers who all in turn helped develop the young artist’s technique and direction. Steppe was greatly inspired by his natural surroundings such as Antwerp’s quays and the North Sea, influences that were to dictate his later choice of subject.He was also drawn to the lights on the ScheldeRiver and as a result painted some marvelously atmospheric works of Antwerp. He did however occasionally paint landscapes, particularly in the Limburg Campine, and went on to become a member of the artist’s group `Als Ik Kan’.Steppe traveled for a number of years throughout Europe perfecting his painting techniques and gaining quite a reputation as a skilled and poetic artist. It was during his visits to England, Holland and France that his works were exhibited and began winning numerous awards. After much success in these countries, Steppe finally returned to his homeland of Belgium and settled down at Antwerp in 1887 where he continued to exhibit until his death in 1927.In 1894 Steppe exhibited in the Verlat Gallery and at the Antwerpen Universal exhibition.He went on to win the coveted “Medal” in Limoges.
In 1996 a vast body of Steppe’s work was assembled for a major retrospective exhibition at the Verhaerenmuseum in Sint-Amands.