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Philip de László Portraits


Pub. date: 22 March 2010
Price: £6.99
ISBN: 978 1 85514 425 5
Format: 270 x 216mm
Extent: 32 pages
Illustrations: 15
Binding: Paperback
Category: Fine Art

Out of print

Caroline Corbeau-Parsons, with a foreword by Sandy Nairne

This introductory guide to Philip de László's portraiture explores his reputation as one of the most important and prolific portrait artists working in Britain between 1907 and 1937. Published to coincide with the opening of a new display at the National Portrait Gallery, London and the completion of a major new biography.

Philip de László (1869-1937) is among the most celebrated British portraitists of the first half of the twentieth century. He portrayed the leading figures of his generation, including actresses, dictators, scientists, writers, politicians, princes and society figures. This fascinating introduction to his work takes us from his humble beginnings in Budapest and his student years in fin de siècle Paris and Munich, to his success as a society painter with commissions to paint kings, queens, presidents and two popes.

In 1907 de László settled in England, where he began to move away from his sober early style towards bravura portraiture in the grand manner. On the retirement of John Singer Sargent he became Britain's most favoured portraitist, and his sittings book not only remained full for the next two decades, but in 1930 he succeeded Walter Sickert as President of the Royal Society of British Artists. This publication concentrates on de László's British career - astonishingly prolific years of great artistic achievement.

The National Portrait Gallery, London holds twelve portraits by the artist, from a complete oeuvre of some 5,000 works, along with a collection of his correspondence. Dr Caroline Corbeau-Parsons, drawing on the artist's papers and diaries, sets this work in the context of British art history and considers de László's art as the last great flowering of a style stretching back to Van Dyck. This publication, and the display it accompanies, will help to re-establish de László's reputation alongside Sargent, Sir John Lavery and Giovanni Boldini as one of the foremost portraitists in early twentieth-century Britain.


Dr Caroline Corbeau-Parsons is a leading de László scholar. She is the British & French editor of the catalogue raisonné of his work, and collaborated with Duff Hart-Davis on the forthcoming definitive biography of the artist (Yale, spring 2010).
Sandy Nairneis Director of the National Portrait Gallery and was formerly Director of Programmes at the Tate. He has written extensively on portraiture and contemporary art.

List of Illustrations

Laura Galambos, 1889; Chlodwig, Prince of Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst, 1899; A Woman from Biskra, 1923; Self-portrait with his Wife and Son, 1918; The Last Days at Chequers, 1920; 5th Marquess of Lansdowne, 1920; Duchess of Portland, 1912; Jerome K. Jerome, 1921; Stephen de Laszlo, 1919; John de Laszlo, 1918; The First Drawing Lesson, 1919; Lucy de László, 1918; Faith Moore, 1920; 5th Marquess of Lansdowne, 1920; The Duchess of York, 1925

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