John Jacob Schneider was born February 20, 1822 in Basel, Switzerland. As a youth he had taken a considerable interest in the history of this city which dates back to the B.C. years when a Roman fort and vicus was situated on the left bank of Rhine. In this pursuit he accurately sketched many of the century-old buildings and streets in Basel. As he developed his artistic talents, he reproduced these sketches in watercolors, which resulted during his lifetime in hundreds of valuable, detailed paintings of "Alt Basel". Many of these are preserved in the Museum in Basel.