Josef Mangold was self-taught in painting and attended the arts and crafts schools in Cologne and Berlin. He was a member of the Rheinische Secession, which emerged from the Young Rhineland. His works are counted as part of the New Objectivity. However, role models were the old masters such as Albrecht Dürer and Lucas Cranach. Above all landscapes, but also figurative pictures and flower still lifes determine his work.