Joseph Wopfner was an Austrian painter best known for his depictions of landscapes in the Chiemgau region of Bavaria. His vividly colored paintings, reminiscent work of the Impressionists, were based off of plein-air studies the artist made on location. As a result, there is strong sense of movement and light in the artist’s work. For example, in his painting Fishermen's family on the Chiemsee, he painted a family wading in a lake—emphasizing the light filling the sky and the reflectivity of the water.
Born on March 19, 1843 in Schwaz, Austria, he moved to Munich in 1860 where he worked as a lithographer and house painter. He later enrolled at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts and studied painting under Karl von Pilot, who greatly influenced his mature works. After completing his education, he became a key member of the Munich School of painting, a prestigious group of German academic painters, and worked alongside prominent artists of the day including Karl Raupp, Dixie Selden, and Franz von Defregger. In 1890, he received a gold medal at Crystal Palace Exhibition in Munich and in 1912 he was given the Prinzregent Luitpold medal for his portraits of the Bavarian royal family. Wopfner died on July 22, 1927 in Munich, Germany. Today, his work is held in the collections of the Herrenchiemsee New Palace and the Georg Schaefer Museum in Schweinfurt.