Daniel Lindtmayer was at least the fourth generation in a family of artists who passed on the trade from father to son. In his native Schaffhausen, he trained as a mural painter and designer of stained-glass windows. He studied in his father's workshop, but local painter and engraver Tobias Stimmer, who later transferred his workshop to Basel, also influenced him.
Lindtmayer himself moved to Basel by 1575, where he worked as a designer for local glass painters. A large, cosmopolitan city linked with both the upper Rhine and Switzerland, Basel was a fertile ground for artists to receive ideas, influences, and commissions from many regions. Lindtmayer himself was deeply influenced by contemporary prints depicting linear perspective. Packed with detail, his elaborate compositions incorporated Renaissance strapwork, solidly three-dimensional human figures, and architectural frames filled with classical elements. In 1595 Lindtmayer tried to murder a goldsmith in Konstanz but escaped punishment on grounds of insanity. He was in Lucerne around 1598 to 1601, and he probably converted to Protestantism. His surviving work consists of about 350 drawings: many designs for stained-glass windows, seven woodcuts, four etchings, and at least one painting.