Fritz Wotruba was born in 1907 in Vienna to a Czech father and a Hungarian mother. In the early 1920s he trained to be an engraver and took lessons in sculpture under Anton Hanak. He began to work independently as a sculptor in 1927. Around 1930 he visited Germany and became acquainted with the sculptors Wilhelm Lehmbruck and Aristide Maillol. Wotruba had his first solo exhibition abroad in 1931. He worked in a realist, figurative style in stone and bronze and was yet to develop his own distinctive style.