He was born a Hungarian, but made his career in Vienna and then in Rome. He was a symobolist painter, an allegorical painter, and eventually a portrait painter. This painting is probably his masterpiece. What is unusual about it is its date. It was painted in 1888, although it looks much later. The subject also is very interesting. It represents Ahaseurus, who was by tradition the prototype of the Wandering Jew, condemned to live forever until the world finishes. Hiremy-Hirschl was himself Jewish, and the painting can be seen as an allegory of what might happen to him, and to a certain extent did, and his own understanding of the complexities of being Jewish.