Joseph Oppenheimer was born into a Jewish family in Wurzburg, Germany on 13 July 1876. He studied at the Munich Academy, painting numerous landscapes in and around the city. He moved to England in 1896 and taught at the London School of Arts until 1910. Between the wars, he set up a studio in Berlin and was a member of the Berlin and Munich Secessions. He returned to England in 1933 and participated in the 'Exhibition of German-Jewish Artists' Work: Painting, Sculpture, Architecture' (5-15 June 1934) organised at the Parsons Gallery, London by German-Jewish emigre dealer, Carl Braunschweig (later Charles Brunswick), which included in total 221 artworks by 86 artists suffering persecution under the Nazi regime. He remained in London until 1949. He travelled widely, spending time in Italy, France and Canada and briefly had a studio in New York. Between 1949 and his death in Montreal in 1966, he divided his time between England and Canada. His primary reputation was for portraiture, but he also painted landscapes and still-lifes. He exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy of Arts and the Royal Society of Painters. Joseph Oppenheimer died in Montreal, Canada on 31 August 1966. His work is in UK collections including Balliol College, Oxford; the Hunterian; and the V&A Museum of Childhood.