Fritz Winkler was born in Dresden, Germany on August 7, 1894, the son of a lithographer. From 1912 to 1915 he studied at the Dresden Art Academy with Emanuel Hagenbarth. After losing his left eye in WW1 he returned to study with Hegenbarth. From 1921 to 1928, Winkler, as a freelance collaborator, produced illustrations for the national newspaper for Plauen and the Vogtland. He traveled through Germany in 1927 with three other artists and illustrated the book Earth, published in 1929, Under His Feet, A new journey to Germany. Primarily a 2 dimensional artist Winkler also produced a number of sculptural figurines in the Art Deco manner in a variety of mediiums including bronze, ceramic and glass.
Around 1920, Winkler was a member of the artists' group 'Deutscher Kunstlerbundes' in Dresden. After the establishment of the National Socialist (Nazi) party 1933, Fritz Winkler was deemed an undesirable or "degenrate" artist. He became part of the group of artists of the Seven Strollers, a loose alliance of seven artists including Johannes Beutner, Erich Fraass, Otto Griebell, Josef Hegenbarth and others. He belonged to the "second generation of the Expressionists and was a member of the German 'Artists' Union.
Despite his having lost an eye in WWI, Winkler was conscripted into the Second World War and most of his work was destroyed in 1945 in the bombing of Dresden. He returned to Dresden in 1946 and in the remaining 18 years until his death in 1964, Fritz Winkler created more than three hundred paintings and five thousand watercolors, which he left with his will to the Dresden State Art Collections. Fritz Winkler died in Dresden on March 20, 1964.