Joseph Kleitsch was born in Banad, Hungary, and began painting at the age of seven. He studied in Budapest, Munich and Paris and became an accomplished portraitist before immigrating to the United States, settling in Cincinnati, Ohio. Between 1905 and 1909, he lived and painted portraits of prominent businessmen in Denver, Colorado, as well as Mexican President Francisco Madero in Mexico City. He returned to the Midwest in 1914, exhibiting at the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1920, he and his wife, Edna, settled in Laguna Beach, where the village scenery — people along the eucalyptus-lined streets, flowers blooming in alcove gardens, and the pensive tranquility of the beach and isolation of the locale — became fresh subjects for him to depict on canvas. Unlike many landscapists of the time, Kleitsch was prone to reflect the spirit of the coast through its people — figures. His townscapes have the precision of photographs.