Born in Jackson, California in 1869, Joseph Raphael studied at the School of Design in San Francisco with teachers Arthur Mathews and Douglas Tilden. At age 33, he traveled to Paris in 1902 and studied in Paris at the Ecole Des Beaux-Arts and Academie Julian. He would remain in Europe nearly for forty years, dividing the majority of his time in Holland, France and Belgium. During this time, he would send paintings to his native home where his San Francisco agent would offer his work on the American market. 1n 1939, he escaped the coming tide of war in Europe and returned to San Francisco. For the next eleven years, he kept a Sutter Street studio until his death in late 1950.
He was greatly influenced by the French impressionists, and promoted French Impressionism in California. As a father of five, he often enlisted his children to serve as models for his works, placing them in flower gardens.
Source: Askart, Artists in California 1786 - 1940, Edan Milton Hughes, 3d ed.