New acquisition: ‘Psychoanalyst’ by Marie-Louise von Motesiczky

The Freud Museum London recently received a generous donation from the Marie-Louise von Motesiczky Charitable Trust: the painting 'Psychoanalyst' by Marie-Louise von Motesiczky.

Marie-Louise von Motesiczky (1906 – 1996) was a Viennese artist. Educated in the city, she attended art classes in Vienna, The Hague, Frankfurt, Paris and Berlin and in 1927 was invited by Max Beckmann to join his master class at the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main. Much like Sigmund Freud and his family,  Motesiczky fled Nazi persecution in Austria atfer the Anschluss and made her home in England.

Marie-Louise von Motesiczky in her studio, Amersham, early 1940s.

This is not the only link between Motesiczky and Freud. Marie-Louise‘s grandmother was Anna von Lieben, one of Sigmund Freud’s early patients known by the pseudonym ‘Cäcilie M’. Von Lieben was referred to Freud in the late 1880s for help with a long-standing series of nervous disorders and was treated with hypnosis.

Marie-Louise herself underwent a brief analysis with Paul Federn and her brother Karl was treated for several years by Wilhelm Reich.

After a short stay in Holland, Marie-Louise and her mother settled in Amersham in 1940. Her first solo show in London followed in 1944. After the war Marie-Louise exhibited her paintings in many European institutions. Two solo exhibitions in The Hague and Amsterdam in 1952 were followed two years later by one at the Städtische Galerie in Munich and one at the Beaux Arts Gallery in London in 1960.


Marie-Louise von Motesiczky, ‘Psychoanalyst’ 1962. Oil on canvas.

Motesiczky’s painting style reflects the influence of German expressionism and impressionism; both styles targeted by the Nazi’s as ‘degenerate’ art.

Her artistic breakthrough in the UK came with her solo exhibition at the Goethe-Institut in London in 1985. Following this critically acclaimed show, Österreichische Galerie im Belvedere in Vienna held a major retrospective exhibition of Motesiczky’s work in 1994.

The Freud Museum is delighted to have the work ‘Psychoanalyst’ by Marie-Louise von Motesiczky, one of the most important Austrian painters of the twentieth century. The painting is displayed for the first time in the exhibition ‘Leaving Today: the Freuds in Exile 1938’.


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