Herbet von Reyl’s father was an officer in the Army, which allowed Herbert to travel the world, including the cities of Krakow and Praha, where he was inspired artistically. After his father was killed in action during World War I, Herbert von Reyl-Hanisch studied in Wien (Vienna) at the Academy of Fine Arts since 1917, and became a member of the Wiener Secession.
Von Reyl quickly rebelled against the establishment and the Nazis. He regarded industrialization as a kind of destruction of the human and also a promotion of agression. Von Reyl mainly painted landscapes and portraits, and illustrated books. His style was considered a mix of New Objectivity and Magic Realism. In 1916, Reyl-Hanisch served in the artillery of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, but due to a bad lung condition, he was exempted from further military service. In 1937 he died of severe hemoptysis.