Norbertine von Bresslern-Roth, born on November 13, 1891, in Graz, Austria, and passing away on November 30, 1978, in the same city, was a prominent Austrian painter and printmaker. Her upbringing in Graz laid the foundation for her artistic journey, nurtured by her mother Aloisia Roth, who hailed from a family with ties to a Vienna-based riding school owner.

Bresslern-Roth’s artistic inclination was evident from an early age, recognized by her elementary school teacher. This acknowledgment paved the way for her to receive drawing and painting lessons at the Styrian Landeskunstschule, directed by Alfred Schrötter von Kristelli, starting from 1907. She further honed her skills at the animal painting school in Dachau, under the guidance of Hans von Hayek, during the summers of 1909 and 1910.

In 1911, Bresslern-Roth embarked on a significant chapter in her artistic education by enrolling at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna to study under Professor Ferdinand Schmutzer. Despite the prevailing norms restricting women’s access to formal art education, her exceptional talent led to her admission into Schmutzer’s studio after just one year. She received recognition early on in her career, including the silver medal of the city of Graz in 1912.

After a successful exhibition at the Wiener Secession in 1916, Bresslern-Roth returned to Graz and established herself as a freelance artist. She pioneered the use of linocut in the 1920s, becoming one of the first women to extensively explore this printing technique. Over the years, she created numerous animal depictions, drawing inspiration from her travels to North Africa and European zoos.

Bresslern-Roth’s contributions to the art world were duly recognized, earning her the title of “Professor” in 1932 and appointment as honorary president of the Styrian Art Association in 1951. However, her defiance of the Nazi regime through her critical artwork during the Anschluss era, coupled with her refusal to divorce her husband, classified as a “Half-Jew” under Nazi legislation, positioned her as part of the “cultural resistance.”

Today, Bresslern-Roth is celebrated globally as one of the foremost animal painters of her time. Her later works, characterized by their artistic depth and mastery, particularly stand out. Through her linocuts, she left an indelible mark on the international art scene, captivating audiences with her evocative representations.

Her legacy lives on through her works, many of which are held in esteemed collections such as the Universalmuseum Joanneum, the National Gallery of Victoria, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, ensuring that her impact on the art world endures for generations to come.