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This is a portrait of the artist's mother, Henriette von Motesiczky, at the age of ninety-three. She is shown in bed, at the home they shared in Hampstead, London. The title relates to the fact that von Motesiczky's mother found difficulty in sleeping and often lay awake as night became day. She did not sit for this portrait. Instead, it was painted in the artist's studio near her mother's bedroom, which von Motesiczky regularly visited to see her model. It thus combines memory and observation. Von Motesiczky made eighteen portraits of her mother from the mid-1940s until the latter's death in 1978. The artist believed this to be 'one of the very best'.

August 2004