She graduated with distinction as a painter from The Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts in 1931. During the remainder of the 1930s she collaborated with Stefan, as film maker and illustrator. They moved to Paris in 1938. In 1940, she escaped to London and her mature art started there. The emotive and expressive force of her wartime drawings was followed by a period of experimental abstraction, but she soon returned to an art concerned with the figure.
Franciszka Themerson evolved ways of painting that could be a vehicle for drawing. Lines are scratched, cut, drawn with a finger in the heavy impasto of white paint. She used knives more often than brushes. Colour was added like tone that settled over the valleys of the picture, or infiltrated the lines gouged out of the surface.
Her pictures are about the human condition, a sustained cautionary tale of man's mindlessness, conformism, or his inhumanity. She lived the lot of her generation - bestiality on a tragic global scale - and her paintings reflect this. Their satire is progressively more hostile than that of the drawings, and the means more violent.