Born as Margot Holzmann in Berlin, Germany. She was primarily an artist but later established herself as an interior designer. Rudolf was a British citizen from birthright.
His father held British citizenship despite being raised in Germany.
Rudolf began teaching at Cologne University in 1932, but because Wittkower was Jewish, she was forced to leave Germany due to Nazi control. In 1933 the couple moved to London.
Together they documented in their writings the change from craftsmen to artist during the Renaissance. She died at age 93 at her home in Manhattan.