The artist was born to prominent Jewish parents in Bamberg on Christmas Day 1713. He was educated in Prague and Metz but returned to Bamberg and in 1733 became influenced by Catholic ideas, changing his name to Joseph Marquard Treu (literally, true).
He was trained as a religious and history painter although he himself declared '.. Mein force aber, worinnen ich mich sehen darff lassen, ist wild und geflügel' (my strength, however, for which I shall be remembered, is wild game and birds). In 1766 he was appointed inspector of Count Schönborn's picture gallery at Pommersfelden.
Another similar pair of trompe l'oeil pictures, signed and dated 1771, was with Galerie Koller, Zurich, in 1980 (see the advertisement in Connoisseur, April 1980).