Son of a forest ranger who worked in the Bavarian mountains, Max Joseph Pitzner was born on the border with Austria and during the years of his artistic training he moved to Munich, attending the Academy classes of Ludwig von Löfftz (1845-1910), a landscape painter, and Wilhelm Lindenschmit (1829-1895), an artist specialized in historical scenes.
Since a young age, Pitzner was strongly influenced by the French art innovations of the en plein air paintings, especially the ones advanced by the Impressionists. Since the start of his production, he specialized in genre-paintings with herds and rural landscapes.
He joined the Munich Secession (1892), and his paintings, exposed at the Secession city exhibitions, obtained a remarkable public success. The luminous and radiant effect of his paintings received great feedback, as well as his ability to blend human and animal figures to the surrounding landscapes.
Luitpold Wittelsbach (1821-1912), the Prince Regent of Bavaria, visited several times his atelier in Schwabing, a central-northern district of Munich, and acquired some of his pieces.
After a long illness, Max Josef Pitzner died on September 10, 1912 in Munich. In 2005 an exhibition of his paintings, entitled Der Genremaler Max Joseph Pitzner (1855 – 1912) took place at the Museumsforum of Altomünster (Bavaria).