Despite her extraordinary talent, Motesiczky worked all her life in relative obscurity.
Henriette M by Marie-Louise von Motesiczky, 1961
© The Marie-Louise Motesiczky Charitable Trust
- Oil on canvas
- 76 x 81 cm
- Art Fund grant:
- £6,250 ( Total: £25,000)
- Acquired in:
- Peter Black
Her relationship with her mother was a vital element in her development and this is just one of many portraits of her closest living relative. These chart the onset and gradual decline into old age with both a passion and a disturbing detachment and are by far the most moving paintings of her entire oeuvre. Light is very important in all the artist's paintings and contributes much to their vitality. In this painting, thin veils of black pigment, suggestive of a window sill and dark curtains, compress her mother's image. This dark framing device both encloses and discloses, highlighting the strongly-lit face and the rich, glowing interior behind. With its fluid brushwork and powerful combination of directness and intimacy, Henriette M is an image of considerable poignancy and beauty. It draws inspiration from the great European tradition of portraiture, particularly that of Rembrandt and Titian, whose work the artist admired.