Albert Reuss took painting and drawing lessons at the age of 14, but otherwise he was self-taught. When he was eighteen, he began working as an actor and operetta singer in Vienna, though he had to give up this career on account of ill health. From 1919 onwards, Reuss devoted himself to painting. In late 1925 he was able to take part in the 51st exhibition of the Hagenbund, a Viennese association of modern artists. From 1929 onwards, Reuss taught fashion drawing at the Viennese Professional College for the Clothing Trade (Fachlehranstalt für Bekleidungsgewerbe). In 1930, a patron enabled him to spend a year studying on the French Riviera. He later exhibited the works he painted there at the Würthle Gallery, and this was what led to his breakthrough as an artist. After the Nazis siezed power in 1933, Reuss’s Jewish heritage meant he was persecuted, and he emigrated to England in 1938.
After the war broke out, he was interned in Shropshire for two months in 1940 by the British authorities. He changed his name from Reisz to Reuss and in 1940 settled with his wife Rosa in Cheltenham in Gloucestershire. After having worked as a drawing teacher in Cheltenham, Reuss also participated in exhibitions in city galleries. In 1947, Reuss was made a British citizen. But he did not get a positive response from the British critics, and became increasingly isolated. In 1948, he and his wife withdrew to Mousehole in Cornwall.