Philip de László

Philip Alexius de László, MVO (Hungarian: Fülöp Elek László, 30 April 1869 – 22 November 1937)[1] was an Anglo-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 subject in 1914.[2]

De Laszlo PA 5668

Early life

László was born in humble circumstances in Budapest as Fülöp Laub, the eldest son of Adolf and Johanna Laub, a tailor and seamstress of Jewish origin.[3] 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.[4][5]

Personal life

Laszlo - Lucy de László
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.[6]

László became interested in Catholicism as a young man, probably through his friendship with the Valentins, an elderly Bavarian couple.[7] He was baptised into the Hungarian Catholic Church in 1894 ... "he never worshipped regularly but read the Bible and was a firm believer in God and the Christian story".[8] His faith was especially strengthened by his visit to the Vatican in 1900, where he met and painted the aging Pope Leo XIII.[9] László converted to Anglicanism upon his marriage, and his children were raised as Protestants.[10] At a lecture to the Fisher Society in 1934, he said "I believe that to worship nature is a religious duty. I see in nature the fullest revelation of the Divinity, and my faith is that only by acceptance of this revelation and by striving to realise it in all its perfection can I prove my worship to be sincere".[11]

Later life

László's patrons awarded him numerous honours and medals. In 1909 he was invested 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".

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.[12] 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, Hyme House, in Hampstead, London.[13]

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.[14] 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 published online and in progress. His oeuvre currently numbers almost 4,000 works, including drawings.[15]

Laszlo - Mrs. George Owen Sandys
Laszlo - Mrs. George Owen Sandys
Laszlo - Winifred, Duches of Portland
Winifred, Duchess of Portland
Hélène Charlotte de Berquely-Richards (1908-2004)
Mrs Hélène Kirwan-Taylor (1935)
Lydia Édith Eustis (1871-1957) (B)
Mrs Lydia Eustis is a lyrical artist and the wife of the Dutch diplomat John Loudon (1920)


Portraits painted by László include the following individuals:

Other paintings

Laszlo - Sir Alfred East

Sir Alfred East, 1907

Laszlo - Winifred Anna Cavendish-Bentinck (née Dallas-Yorke), 6th Duchess of Portland, 1912

Winifred Cavendish-Bentinck (née Dallas-Yorke), 6th Duchess of Portland, 1912

Princess Louise of Battenberg1907

Lady Louise Mountbatten (later Queen of Sweden), 1907

Papst Leo XIII

Pope Leo XIII

Philip Alexius de Laszlo - Auguste Viktoria, Deutsche Kaiserin, 1908

The German Empress, Queen of Prussia, Augusta Victoria 1908

Philip de László - Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon 1925

Elizabeth, Duchess of York (later Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother), 1925

Philipp Alexius de László Bildnis Graf Heinrich Larisch-Moennich 1905

Graf Heinrich Larisch-Moennich

Philip Alexius de Laszlo-Princess Elizabeth of York, Currently Queen Elizabeth II of England,1933

Princess Elizabeth of York, currently Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, 1933

Laszlo - Cardinal Mariano Rampolla

Cardinal Mariano Rampolla

Armand de Gramont

Portrait of Antoine de Gramont (1879-1962) 12th Duke of Gramont (1904)

The Son of the Artist by Philip de László.jpeg

The Son of the Artist, 1917

Marquise Hélie de Noailles

Portrait of Corisande, Marquise de Noailles, 1902

Elaine, Duchesse de Gramont

Elaine, Duchesse de Gramont


  1. ^ "The de Laszlo Archive Trust".
  2. ^ "LASZLO DE LOMBOS, Philip Alexius de (1869 - 1937), Painter : Benezit Dictionary of Artists - oi". doi:10.1093/benz/9780199773787.article.b00104969.
  3. ^ "Laszlo, Philip Alexius de [formerly Fülöp Elek László; Philip Alexius Laszlo de Lombos] (1869–1937), painter : Oxford Dictionary of National Biography - oi". doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/34414.
  4. ^ "Account Suspended".
  5. ^ "The Portraits of Philip de Laszlo". The Weekly Standard. 14 October 2010.
  6. ^ "Photograph of László with his wife and sons". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007.
  7. ^ Hart-Davis, Duff (2010). Philip de László: His Life and Art. Yale University Press. p. 26. ISBN 9780300137163.
  8. ^ Hart-Davis (2010), p. 34.
  9. ^ Hart-Davis (2010), pp. 66–67.
  10. ^ Hart-Davis (2010), p. 71.
  11. ^ Hart-Davis (2010), p. 235.
  12. ^ "Parlour games". The Guardian. 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."
  13. ^ Archived 14 October 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "De László, His Life and Art". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  15. ^ "The de Laszlo Archive Trust".
  16. ^ 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 Laszlo; A Brush with Grandeur
  17. ^ "Philip Alexius de Laszlo's Comte and Comtesse Jean de Castellane".
  18. ^ "Photo of Elisabeth, Duchess of Clermont-Tonnerre". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  19. ^ "Photo of Calvin Coolidge". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  20. ^ Allen, David E. The Botanists, St Paul's Biographies 1986, p. 104
  21. ^ "Photo of the Duke and Duchess of Gramont". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  22. ^ "Photo of Princess Andrew of Greece". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  23. ^ The Studio, 105 (418), January 1928.
  24. ^ "Photo of Johnny de László (Philip de Laszlo's youngest son)". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  25. ^ "Photo of Stephen and Paul de László (his sons, 1910)". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  26. ^ "Photo of Pope Leo XIII". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  27. ^ Scone Palace
  28. ^ "Philip Alexius de Laszlo's James Robert Dundas McEwen".
  29. ^ "Philip Alexius de Laszlo's Mary Frances Dundas McEwen".
  30. ^ "Photo of Andrew W. Mellon". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  31. ^ "Photo of Princess Charlotte of Monaco". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  32. ^ "Photo of Prince Louis II of Monaco". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  33. ^ "Photo of Edwina Mountbatten, Countess Mountbatten of Burma". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  34. ^ "Photo of Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  35. ^ "Photo of Joseph Ferguson Peacocke, Archbishop of Dublin (1908)". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  36. ^ ""Vittorio Putti" by Philip de Laszlo (c. 1925) - Himetop".
  37. ^ "Photo of Queen Marie of Romania (1936)". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  38. ^ "Photo of Queen Mother Marie of Romania". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  39. ^ "Photo of Theodore Roosevelt". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  40. ^ "Photo of King Alfonso XIII of Spain". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  41. ^ Webshots Wallpaper & Screensaver. "Webshots - Today's Photo".
  42. ^ Webshots Wallpaper & Screensaver. "Webshots - Today's Photo".
  43. ^ Webshots Wallpaper & Screensaver. "Webshots - Today's Photo".
  44. ^ Webshots Wallpaper & Screensaver. "Webshots - Today's Photo".
  45. ^ Webshots Wallpaper & Screensaver. "Webshots - Today's Photo".
  46. ^ "Photo of Queen Louise of Sweden". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  47. ^ "Photo of Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  48. ^ "Photo of Duchess of York, 1931)". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  49. ^ "Photo of Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  50. ^ "Photo of George VI of the United Kingdom, when Duke of York; 1931)". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  51. ^ "Photo of Prince George, Duke of Kent (1934)". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  52. ^ "Philip Alexius de Laszlo's Princess Marina Sketch". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  53. ^ "Philip Alexius de Laszlo's Duke and Duchess of Ken [sic] 1934". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  54. ^ In the collection of the Estate of David Chavchavadze
  55. ^ "Photo of Ignaz Wechselmann (1894)". Retrieved 17 October 2014.

External links

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Hyme House

Hyme House, at 3 Fitzjohn’s Avenue, Hampstead, England (1), was the London home of society portrait painter Philip de László. He painted many of his portraits at sittings in the studio and gardens of Hyme House. Sitters included royalty, celebrities, businesspeople and politicians from the 1920s and 1930s (2)(4).

The house was built in 1886; de Laszlo and his wife, heiress Lucy Guinness (3), lived there from 1921 to 1937.

In 1938 the Sisters of Mercy of the Holy Cross, a Catholic Religious Order, acquired Hyme House and later took over the villas at numbers 5 and 7. The Order linked the three villas into a girls' school, which operated up until 1985 (3). The house then became the Fitzjohn’s Lodge Hotel (3).

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