Joseph Rodefer DeCamp was born in Cincinnati, Ohio where he studied with Frank Duveneck. In the second half of the 1870s he went with Duveneck and fellow students to the Royal Academy of Munich. He then spent time in Florence, Italy, returning to Boston in 1883. DeCamp became known as a member of the Boston school led by Edmund Charles Tarbell and Emil Otto Grundmann, focusing on figure painting, and in the 1890s adopting the style of Tonalism. He was a founder of the Ten American Painters, a group of American Impressionists, in 1897. A 1904 fire in his Boston studio destroyed several hundred of his early paintings, including nearly all of his landscapes. He died in Boca Grande, Florida.