- Also known as
Marie-Louise von Motesiczky
primary name: Motesiczky, Marie-Louise von
- individual; painter/draughtsman; Austrian; British; Female
- Life dates
- Marie-Louise von Motesiczky CharitableTrust
- Painter. Born in Vienna in 1906 to an aristocratic family, her father Edmund von Motesiczky was a talented cellist and her mother Henriette von Lieben, came from one of the most wealthy and cultured families in the Habsburg Empire. They donated many of their art-works to the Kunsthistorisches Museum and their own art-collection was kept at the family's country estate in Hinterbrühl. After leaving school at 13, Motesiczk attended art schools in Vienna, Paris (at the Montparnasse Painting Academy) and Berlin. In 1928, Max Beckmann invited her to join his masterclass at the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main, where she honed her craft and the two became lifelong friends. Being of Jewish descent meant she had to flee the Nazi annexation of Vienna in 1938 and accompanied by her mother Henriette, fled to London via Amsterdam where she joined the Artists' International Association and contributed to some of their exhibitions; her first solo exhibition followed in London in 1944. Her brother Karl, stayed behind helping other Jews escape and was killed by the Nazis for opposing the regime. In London she met Oskar Kokoschka who influenced her work. Her large circle of friends also included the sculptor Marie Duras, the art historian Sir Ernst Gombrich and the artist Milein Cosman.
Following the end of the war, Motesiczky exhibited her paintings in many European institutions and she continued to work from her house in London, where she lived with her mother, who became the subject of many of her paintings after 1960, with Motesiczky chronicling her encroaching frailty in paintings such as 'The Old Song' and ' From Night into Day'. Motesiczky never married and lived alone after her mother's death in 1978. Her most important friendship was with the novelist Elias Canetti to whom she was very close for 30 years and whom she painted several times. His was the last major portrait she painted in 1993, not long before he died, now in the National Portrait Gallery.
In 1985 she had a major retrospective at the Goethe Institute, London to great acclaim. She died in London in 1996 and her paintings, drawings and personal papers passed into the possession of the Marie-Louise von Motesiczky Charitable Trust under the founding Chairmanship of Jeremy Adler which has devoted itself to preserving, cataloguing, and promoting her work.
- Schlenker, Ines: 'Marie-Louise von Montesiczky 1996-1996, A Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings', Hudson Hills Press, New York, 2009