Johann Christian Kröner was the son of the decorative painter Johann Kröner (1788–1848) and his wife Clara Regina, née Meyer (1792–1862). Kröner attended high school in his hometown until 1852 and then worked for his brother, who had taken over the paternal painting business , as an apprentice.
He also sketched outdoors to capture nature. It was only from 1861 that he could continue to devote himself to art. He first went to Munich and the artist colony in Brannenburg , where he painted landscapes and got to know local painters, including Carl Irmer , Wilhelm Busch , Julius Rollmann and Louis Hugo Becker . In 1863 he went to Düsseldorf, where he met the landscape painter Louis Hugo Becker, moving in the milieu of the Düsseldorf School.
With his artist friends and paint box in hand, they worked from self-study and frequent trips to Upper Bavaria , Thuringia and particularly Westphalia. Among his circle of friends in Düsseldorf were Gustav Süs, Karl Bertling, Eduard Geselschap, Abert Baur, Eugen Dücker and Carl Irmer.
Kröner visited and exhibited in Paris in 1900 and in London winning a medal for his work. He was a member of the Berlin Academy and in his time in Berlin his studio was visited by many of the leading artists.
Many of his paintings depicted stags in landscapes and so at the turn of the century he was universally recognised as the leading painter of Düsseldorf hunting paintings.