Marie-Louise von Motesiczky was born in Vienna to an aristocratic family. Taking an interest in art from an early age, she studied at the Städel Art School in Frankfurt with artist Max Beckmann who became an important influence on her work. After the Nazis’ annexation of Austria in 1938, Motesiczky left Vienna with her mother to the Netherlands before moving to England where she remained for the rest of her life. An expressive painter, she created a series of self-portraits over a period of about 66 years which are an outstanding record of self-observation. She also painted several portraits of her mother during the 1960s and 70s which are an honest account of ageing, and a tender reflection of their close relationship. Alongside portraiture, Motesiczky also painted landscapes and imagined fantasy scenes. Successful exhibitions at the Goethe Institute, London in 1985 and the Österreichische Galerie, Vienna in 1994 revived interest in her work, securing her position as one of the most original and talented artists of her time.