Philip de László

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Self portrait by Philip de László

Philip Alexius de László, MVO (30 April 1869 – 22 November 1937)[1] was a Hungarian painter known particularly for his portraits of royal and aristocratic personages. In 1900, he married Lucy Guinness of Stillorgan, County Dublin, and became a British citizen in 1914.

Early life[edit]

László was born in humble circumstances in Budapest as Laub Fülöp (Hungarian style with the surname first), the eldest son of Jewish parents, Adolf and Johanna Laub, a tailor and seamstress, respectively. Fülöp and his younger brother Marczi changed their surname to László in 1891. He was apprenticed at an early age to a photographer while studying art, eventually earning a place at the National Academy of Art, where he studied under Bertalan Székely and Károly Lotz. He followed this with studies in Munich and Paris. László's portrait of Pope Leo XIII earned him a Grand Gold Medal at the Paris International Exhibition in 1900. In 1903 László moved from Budapest to Vienna. In 1907 he moved to England and remained based in London for the remainder of his life, although endlessly travelling the world to fulfill commissions.[citation needed]

Marriage and family[edit]

Mrs Philip de László, née Lucy Guinness, by Philip Alexius de László

In 1900, László married Lucy Madeleine Guinness, a member of the banking branch of the Guinness family and a sister of Henry Guinness. They had first met in Munich in 1892, but for some years had been forbidden to see each other. The couple had six children and 17 grandchildren (see photograph of László with his wife and sons).

Later life[edit]

László's patrons awarded him numerous honours and medals. In 1909 he was named MVO by Edward VII. In 1912 he was ennobled by King Franz Joseph of Hungary; his surname then became "László de Lombos", but he soon was using the name "de László".[citation needed]

Despite his British citizenship, his marriage and five British sons, de László was interned for over twelve months in 1917 and 1918 during the First World War.[2] He was exonerated and released in June 1919. Due to overwork de László suffered heart problems for the last years of his life. In October 1937 he had a heart attack and died a month later at his home in Hampstead, London.[citation needed]

In 1939, Portrait of a Painter. The Authorized Life of Philip de László by Owen Rutter, written in conjunction with de László, was published. In 2010 Yale University Press published De László, His Life and Art by Duff Hart-Davis and Dr. Caroline Corbeau-Parsons.[3] His reputation still remains largely as a society portrait painter, but well numbered amongst his sitters were industrialists and scientists, politicians and painters, men and women of letters and many other eminent, as well as ordinary, people. Family members and a team of editors are compiling a catalogue raisonné.

Laszlo - Mrs. George Owen Sandys
Winifred, Duches of Portland

Selected works[edit]

Philipp Alexius de László: Graf Heinrich Larisch-Moennich

People painted[edit]

Henry Charles Keith Petty-Fitzmaurice, 5th Marquess of Lansdowne by Philip Alexius de László
Sir William Pulteney by Philip Alexius de László
Portrait of Franz Joseph I
Constantine I, King of the Hellenes, 1914

People painted by László include the following:

Other paintings[edit]


  1. ^ "Philip Alexius de Laszlo"; retrieved 15 August 2007.
  2. ^ Giles MacDonogh. "Parlour games" The Guardian Saturday 20 December 2003.; retrieved 15 August 2007. The article states that "László had not only painted the Austrian foreign secretary, Count Berchtold, regarded by many as responsible for the war; he had also been ennobled by Emperor Franz Josef in 1912. After warnings, he was arrested in the summer of 1917 and accused of making contact with the enemy by sending letters to his mother and brother. He was locked up in Brixton prison and Holloway internment camp as an enemy alien. He didn't sympathise with the enemy: the range of his sitters reveals his even-handedness. He was released due to ill-health, but was not vindicated until the summer of 1919. He had been unable to paint anyone outside his own family for two years."
  3. ^ De László, His Life and Art,; accessed 17 October 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa Laszlo; A Brush with Grandeur
  5. ^ Photo of Elisabeth, Duchess of Clermont-Tonnerre,; accessed 17 October 2014.
  6. ^ Photo of Calvin Coolidge,; accessed 17 October 2014.
  7. ^ Allen, David E. The Botanists, St Paul's Biographies 1986, p. 104
  8. ^ Photo of the Duke and Duchess of Gramont,; accessed 17 October 2014.
  9. ^ Photo of Princess Andrew of Greece,; accessed 17 October 2014.
  10. ^ The Studio, 105 (418), January 1928.
  11. ^ Photo of Johnny de László (Philip de Laszlo's youngest son),; accessed 17 October 2014.
  12. ^ Photo of Stephen and Paul de László (his sons, 1910),; accessed 17 October 2014.
  13. ^ Photo of Pope Leo XIII,; accessed 17 October 2014.
  14. ^ Scone Palace
  15. ^ Photo of Andrew W. Mellon,; accessed 17 October 2014.
  16. ^ Photo of Princess Charlotte of Monaco,; accessed 17 October 2014.
  17. ^ Photo of Prince Louis II of Monaco,; accessed 17 October 2014.
  18. ^ Photo of Edwina Mountbatten, Countess Mountbatten of Burma,; accessed 17 October 2014.
  19. ^ Photo of Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma,; accessed 17 October 2014.
  20. ^ Photo of Joseph Ferguson Peacocke, Archbishop of Dublin (1908),; accessed 17 October 2014.
  21. ^ Photo of Queen Marie of Romania (1936),; accessed 17 October 2014.
  22. ^ Photo of Queen Mother Marie of Romania,; accessed 17 October 2014.
  23. ^ Photo of Theodore Roosevelt,; accessed 17 October 2014.
  24. ^ Photo of King Alfonso XIII of Spain,; accessed 17 October 2014.
  25. ^ Photo of Queen Louise of Sweden,; accessed 17 October 2014.
  26. ^ Photo of Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone,; accessed 17 October 2014.
  27. ^ Photo of Duchess of York, 1931),; accessed 17 October 2014.
  28. ^ Photo of Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother,; accessed 17 October 2014.
  29. ^ Photo of George VI of the United Kingdom, when Duke of York; 1931);; accessed 17 October 2014.
  30. ^ Photo of Prince George, Duke of Kent (1934),; accessed 17 October 2014.
  31. ^ Photo of Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark (1934),; accessed 17 October 2014.
  32. ^ Photo of Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent,; accessed 17 October 2014.
  33. ^ Photo of Ignaz Wechselmann (1894),; accessed 17 October 2014.

External links[edit]