Eduard von Steinle was a historical painter and member of the Nazarene movement.
Steinle came successively under the influence of the painters Leopold Kupelwieser, Johann Overbeck, and Peter von Cornelius, and was thus introduced into the methods of the German painters who had formed themselves into a school in Rome, the Nazarenes. Steinle went himself several times to Rome, but preferred to work in Germany. He received his first large commission, the painting of the chapel of the Castle of Rheineck, while living in Frankfurt; a second one was for work in the Hall of the Emperors (Kaisersaal) in Frankfurt, where he painted the pictures of Albert I and Ferdinand III. These commissions and his friendship with Philipp Veit and the Brentano family decided him to take up his permanent residence in Frankfurt. From 1850 he was professor of historical painting at the Städel Art Institute of Frankfurt.
Like his friend Schwind he was one of the painters of the Romantic School who were largest in their scope. Like Schwind also he was probably more adept in the art of painting ordinary subjects. Still, Constant von Wurzbach was able to write an appreciation of Steinle with the title Ein Madonnamaler unserer Zeit (Vienna, 1879), for Steinle left more than a hundred religious panel pictures, besides numerous cartoons for church windows. He was also regarded as a master of monumental fresco painting in the districts of the Rhine.
Besides his work at Rheineck he painted cycles of pictures in the Castle of Kleinheubach, in the Church of St. Aegidius at Münster, and in the Church of Our Lady in Aachen. He also painted the groups of angels in the choir of Cologne cathedral, and did part of the work in the apse of the choir of the Minster in Strasbourg and in the imperial cathedral in Frankfurt. He also painted frescoes showing the historical development of civilization on the stairway of the Wallraf-Richartz Museum in Cologne.
Among Steinle's smaller religious pictures are the enthroned Madonna holding the Child while an angel plays a musical instrument in front of them, the Visitation, the Holy Family at the Spring, Mary Magdalen seeking Christ, Christ Walking with His Disciples, the Legend of St. Euphrosyne, and the Great Penitentiary. Among his paintings that are not directly religious are: the Warder of the Tower, the Fiddler, the Sibyl, the Lorelei, and the pictures of the story of Parsifal; no less remarkable are his illustrations of Shakespeare, and especially those to accompany Brentano's writings.
Steinle died in Frankfurt on 19 September 1886.