A history and genre painter, Wilhelm Volz was born in Karlsruhe on 8 December 1855. From 1875 he studied at the Karlsruhe Academy under Karl Gussow and Ferdinand Keller, from 1882 in Paris under Jules Lefébvre and Gustave Clarence Rodolphe Boulanger.
In 1883 Wilhelm Volz was appointed to a post at the Karlsruhe School for the Decorative and Applied Arts and taught there until 1886. Settling in Munich in 1888, Wilhelm Volz became a founding member of the "Munich Secession" in 1892.
In his history paintings, Wilhelm Volz worked with religious, mythological and allegorical subject matter but he is also known for his genre paintings and landscapes. So versatile and prolific was he that he also received commissions for wall paintings in churches and public and private buildings as well as etchings and lithographs. Wilhelm Volz's work reveals the influence of the English Pre-Raphaelites, notably Edward Burne-Jones, as well as German Impressionism.
Wilhelm Volz died in Munich on 7 July 1901.