Correspondence and Papers of Philip de László

Philip de László, self-portrait, 1925 - © de Laszlo Foundation.

Philip de László, self-portrait, 1925.
Private collection.
Photograph by Jacqueline Hyde.
© de Laszlo Foundation.

The correspondence and papers of the portrait painter Philip Alexius de László (1869-1937) represent the largest private archive held by the National Portrait Gallery.  Spanning forty-five years and containing over 16,000 items, the majority of which are letters, the collection includes postcards, telegrams, invitations, visiting cards, draft responses, press cuttings and other printed material, including some exhibition ephemera. 

The archive contains both personal and studio correspondence and covers the artist's life from 1892, when he was an art student in Munich to his death in London in 1937.  The collection offers a unique insight into the life and work of de László: documenting his early career in Budapest, his growing reputation among the courts of Europe in the 1890s, and his international success as one of the most prominent portrait painters in Britain between 1907 and 1937. 

The correspondence and papers of Philip de László were very generously given to the National Portrait Gallery by the de Laszlo Archive Trust in 2005.