Philip de Lászlo, following a meteoric rise to recognition in his native Hungary, settled in Britain in 1907 and became the leading portrait-painter in the country – taking over from Sargent. Marrying into the Guiness family, he painted members of almost every royal family in Europe and very many more of its Who’s Who. He painted the present Queen Elizabeth as a girl, as well as the late Queen Mother and George VI. He is known especially as a portraitist of beautiful women (including Elinor Glyn), but his male portraits are very forceful and his talent was universal – including landscape, animal subjects and children, and drawings and sketches as well as oil paintings.
This book, the previous edition of which accompanied the first retrospective exhibition of de László since his death in 1937, illustrates a rich and representative selection of his work, drawn from a range of private collections, and, aided by stunning colour plates, re-introduces this well-known but little studied artist to a wider public. Its distinguished contributors include Christopher Lloyd, formerly Surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures, Gábor Bellák, Curator of 19th-century Paintings and Drawings at the Hungarian National Gallery, Richard Ormond, formerly Director of the National Maritime Museum and a recognised authority on Sargent, and Christopher Wood, well known for his books on 19th-century art. The catalogue entries, by Sandra de Laszlo, contain fascinating biographical as well as art historical information.