Student of the Austrian painter Rudolph von Alt (1812-1905), Zahnd soon moved to Florence and then, in 1872, he settled in Rome. Here he came in contact with his compatriots and Hermann Salomon Corrodi who was joined by long hikes in the Roman to paint from life.
Particularly important was the example of Hermann who taught him the more scenic and captivating setting of the composition and a particular ductus of the stroke, more accurate and nervous at the same time. Zahnd added to this winning formula that had brought Corrodi to impose itself on the international market, a fresh and bright palette with which soon won a wide client. Its production is dedicated to portray views of the Roman countryside Rome edella always with the same compositional skills.
His works are kept in the Museum of Bern in Switzerland. References: H. Vollmer, “Lexicon der Allgemeins bildenden kunstler”, under the entry; R.Mammuccari, “nineteenth century Romano”, 1993 under the entry; E.Benezit, “Dictionnaire des Peintres Sculpteurs, Dessinnauteurs, et Graveurs, 1999 under the entry.