A professional jeweler, landscape painter Max Weyl would get a start in the art world when displaying his "amateur" works in his jewelry shop's front windows.
A self-taught painter, Weyl had apprenticed to a clockmaker before relocating from Pennsylvania to Washington D.C. in 1857. He opened his own jewelry store, using his landscapes to adorn the display windows. The publisher of the "Evening Star" newspaper, and President of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Samuel Kauffman took note of the works and became Weyl's first patron in the 1870s. Kauffmann would also fund a year of European study for Weyl, where he visited Munich, Paris and Venice before returning to Washington.
During his travels Weyl had been greatly influenced by the Barbizon painters, and this can be seen the works he created upon his return, and by his nickname as the "American Daubigny". These images won him great and almost immediate popularity. Several First Ladies purchased his works to be hung in the White House, as well as many notable international figures as well.
His landscapes were in the same class as the Hudson River School and the French Barbizon painters; relying on atmosphere, light and a somewhat subdued palette to accurately capture the subject. He was known to work in both oil and watercolor and spent the last decades of his life painting Washington D.C. locations such as Rock Creek valley and the tidal areas of the Potomac River.
He exhibited at the most prestigious shows of the period, including the National Academy of Design in New York and the Boston Art Club. The Corcoran Gallery staged a retrospective exhibition to mark Weyl's seventieth birthday in 1907. His paintings are in some of America's most important collections, including the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh.