Ernst Bosch grew up in Wesel, where he first went to high school before he began his training as a painter. In 1850 he became a private student of the history painter Josef Schex. A year later, he began his academic career at the Düsseldorf School of Painting, where he finally became a master student of Wilhem Schadow. After completing his studies, he became a member of the artists' association Malkasten and the Kunstverein. He remained in Dusseldorf and founded in 1894 the Malkasten archive.