Max Raffler was born on October 8, 1902 in the village of Greifenberg, Bavaria, a region of southern Germany. His parents were farmers, but his father also served as mayor of the village from 1911 to 1930. Raffler enjoyed drawing and painting as he grew up, but the death of his parents necessitated that he and his sisters run the farm, which precluded him from pursuing a formal career in art.
Raffler continued to paint, though his sisters did not approve and destroyed much of his work. His subjects were often images of the rural countryside, and religious pictures that were encouraged by a local priest and shown in the church. Other images include self-portraits and paintings of cats, as well as illustrations of children’s stories.
Max Raffler lived in Greifenberg with his sisters until his death in 1988. His work has been shown widely and published in a number of books in Germany, and he remains one of that country’s most well known naive painters.