OIL PAINTING: On the Muscatatuck, 1886
Steele was initialy working as a portrait painter. After he moved to Indianapolis, he went abroad for more intensive training at the Royal Academy of Art in Munich, Germany.
After his return to Indianapolis in 1885, Steele opened his studio again and began taking commissions for portraits, including one for Indiana governor Albert Gallatin Porter. Over the years, Steele painted the likeness of President Benjamin Harrison and many other prominent people. But Steele was most famous for his Impressionist landscapes - On the Muscatatuck, 1886, Roan Mountain, 1899, Creek in Winter, 1899; reportedly Steele had his first glimpse of French Impressionist paintings at the Columbian Exhibition in Chicago in 1893, and they influenced his landscapes greatly.