Philip Alexius de László (Budapest 1869 – London 1937)
An Anniversary Celebration
The 150th anniversary of Philip de László’s birth falls in 2019 and The de Laszlo Archive Trust is pleased to present a loan exhibition of fine examples of his work from private collections.
The artist is remembered as a final proponent of Grand Manner portraiture and painted many of the most powerful and influential figures in late 19th and 20th century Europe and America. His sitters include members of the royal houses of Europe, four American Presidents, two Popes, politicians, industrialists, scientists, fellow artists and men and women of letters.
His great patron Lord Selborne described his extraordinary achievement: “Has any one painter ever before painted so many interesting and historical personages?”
The exhibition will include examples of his important commissioned public portraits alongside the more intimate portraits of family and friends. De László worked alla prima and without preliminary drawing on the canvas. This confidence in his technique enabled him to achieve an excellent likeness in only one or two sittings, exemplified by the study portrait of Countess Beatty.
The portrait of his wife Lucy, née Guinness, shows the artist at his most creative compositionally and reveals the personal aspect of his oeuvre.
De László worked compulsively and relentlessly for most of his fifty-year career. In the last years of his life he began to take holidays allowing him to develop his considerable talent as a landscape painter. These works were not painted as commissions but for the joy of painting and are an interesting complement to his better-known portraiture.
Illustrations © de Laszlo Foundation