Philip de László

Philip Alexius László de Lombos MVO RBA (born Fülöp Laub; Hungarian: Fülöp Elek László; 30 April 1869 – 22 November 1937),[1] known professionally as Philip de László, was an Anglo-Hungarian painter known particularly for his portraits of royal and aristocratic personages. In 1900, he married the Anglo-Irish socialite Lucy Guinness, and he became a British subject in 1914.[2] László's patrons awarded him numerous honours and medals. He was invested with the Royal Victorian Order by Edward VII in 1909 and, in 1912, he was ennobled by Franz Joseph I of Austria; becoming a part of the Hungarian nobility.

Philip de László

De Laszlo PA 5668.jpg
Self-portrait, 1925
Fülöp Laub

(1869-04-30)30 April 1869
Died22 November 1937(1937-11-22) (aged 68)
Hyme House, Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
EducationNational Academy of Art
Known forPortraits
(m. 1900)

Early lifeEdit

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 fulfil commissions.[4][5]

Personal lifeEdit

Portrait by Philip de László of his wife, Lucy

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 lifeEdit

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".[12]

Despite his British citizenship, his marriage and five British citizen sons, de László was interned for over twelve months in 1917 and 1918 during the First World War, accused of making contact with the enemy (he had written letters to family members in Austria). He was released on grounds of ill health, and exonerated in June 1919.[13]

Philip de László’s Signature

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.[14] His work was part of the painting event in the art competition at the 1932 Summer Olympics.[15]

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.[16] 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.[17]


Portraits painted by László include the following individuals:


  1. ^ "The de Laszlo Archive Trust".
  2. ^ "LASZLO DE LOMBOS, Philip Alexius de (1869 - 1937), Painter : Benezit Dictionary of Artists - oi". 2011. doi:10.1093/benz/9780199773787.article.b00104969.
  3. ^ Gibson, Robin (2004). "Laszlo, Philip Alexius de [formerly Fülöp Elek László; Philip Alexius Laszlo de Lombos] (1869–1937), painter : Oxford Dictionary of National Biography - oi". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/34414. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  4. ^ "Account Suspended". Archived from the original on 5 April 2019. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  5. ^ "The Portraits of Philip de Laszlo". The Weekly Standard. 14 October 2010. Archived from the original on 16 December 2018. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  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. ^ "Portrait of Lucy de László by her husband the artist Philip de László | Farmleigh House and Estate".
  13. ^ "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."
  14. ^ "". Archived from the original on 14 October 2016.
  15. ^ "Philip de László". Olympedia. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  16. ^ "De László, His Life and Art". Archived from the original on 15 October 2014. Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  17. ^ "The de Laszlo Archive Trust".
  18. ^ 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
  19. ^ "Philip Alexius de Laszlo's Comte and Comtesse Jean de Castellane".
  20. ^ "Photo of Elisabeth, Duchess of Clermont-Tonnerre". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  21. ^ "Photo of Calvin Coolidge". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  22. ^ Allen, David E. The Botanists, St Paul's Biographies 1986, p. 104
  23. ^ "Finley, Mrs David, née Margaret Morton Eustis". delaszlocatalogueraisonne. Retrieved 23 April 2021.
  24. ^ "Photo of the Duke and Duchess of Gramont". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  25. ^ "Photo of Princess Andrew of Greece". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  26. ^ The Studio, 105 (418), January 1928.
  27. ^ "Photo of Johnny de László (Philip de Laszlo's youngest son)". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  28. ^ "Photo of Stephen and Paul de László (his sons, 1910)". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  29. ^ "Photo of Pope Leo XIII". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  30. ^ Scone Palace
  31. ^ "Philip Alexius de Laszlo's James Robert Dundas McEwen".
  32. ^ "Philip Alexius de Laszlo's Mary Frances Dundas McEwen".
  33. ^ "Photo of Andrew W. Mellon". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  34. ^ "Photo of Princess Charlotte of Monaco". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  35. ^ "Photo of Prince Louis II of Monaco". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  36. ^ "Photo of Edwina Mountbatten, Countess Mountbatten of Burma". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  37. ^ "Photo of Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  38. ^ "Photo of Joseph Ferguson Peacocke, Archbishop of Dublin (1908)". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  39. ^ "Catalogue | The Catalogue | The de Laszlo Archive Trust- Duke of Northumberland".
  40. ^ "Catalogue | The Catalogue | The de Laszlo Archive Trust- Duchess of Northumberland".
  41. ^ "Catalogue | The Catalogue | The de Laszlo Archive Trust- Duchess of Hamilton".
  42. ^ "Catalogue | The Catalogue | The de Laszlo Archive Trust- Lord Richard Percy".
  43. ^ ""Vittorio Putti" by Philip de Laszlo (c. 1925) - Himetop".
  44. ^ "Photo of Queen Marie of Romania (1936)". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  45. ^ "Photo of Queen Mother Marie of Romania". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  46. ^ "Photo of Theodore Roosevelt". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  47. ^ "Photo of King Alfonso XIII of Spain". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  48. ^ Webshots Wallpaper & Screensaver. "Webshots - Today's Photo-Queen Victoria Eugenia of SpainA". Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 28 February 2008.
  49. ^ Webshots Wallpaper & Screensaver-Queen. "Webshots - Today's Photo-Queen Victoria Eugenia of SpainB". Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 28 February 2008.
  50. ^ Webshots Wallpaper & Screensaver. "Webshots - Today's Photo Victoria Eugenia of SpainC". Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 28 February 2008.
  51. ^ Webshots Wallpaper & Screensaver. "Webshots - Today's Photo- Victoria Eugenia of SpainD". Archived from the original on 19 June 2009. Retrieved 28 February 2008.
  52. ^ Webshots Wallpaper & Screensaver. "Webshots - Today's Photo- Victoria Eugenia of SpainE". Archived from the original on 25 February 2012. Retrieved 26 August 2009.
  53. ^ "Photo of Queen Louise of Sweden". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  54. ^ "Photo of Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  55. ^ "Photo of Duchess of York, 1931)". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  56. ^ "Photo of Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  57. ^ "Photo of George VI of the United Kingdom, when Duke of York; 1931)". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  58. ^ "Photo of Prince George, Duke of Kent (1934)". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  59. ^ "Philip Alexius de Laszlo's Princess Marina Sketch". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  60. ^ "Philip Alexius de Laszlo's Duke and Duchess of Ken [sic] 1934". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  61. ^ In the collection of the Estate of David Chavchavadze
  62. ^ Portrait of Margaret Leicester Warren at Art UK
  63. ^ "Photo of Ignaz Wechselmann (1894)". Retrieved 17 October 2014.

External linksEdit