Philip de László His Life and Art Duff Hart-Davis

Publication date:
31 Jun 2010
Yale University Press
412 pages: 235 x 159mm
45 color + 100 b-w illus.
Sales territories:

Philip de László (1869–1937) was born into a humble Hungarian family in Budapest and rose to become the preeminent portrait artist working in Britain between 1907 and 1937. He painted nearly 3,000 portraits, including those of numerous kings and queens, four American presidents, and countless members of the European nobility. “Has any one painter ever before painted so many interesting and historical personages?” asked his contemporaries. There has been no biography of him since 1939, and this new account of both his life and his work draws on previously untapped material from the family archive of over 15,000 documents, to which the author has had unrivaled access. It establishes the intrinsic importance of his art and re-positions him in his rightful place alongside his great contemporaries John Singer Sargent, Sir John Lavery, and Giovanni Boldini.

Duff Hart-Davis is the author or editor of over 40 books and the biographer of Peter Fleming (the elder brother of Ian), Raoul Millais (the grandson of J. E. Millais), J. J. Audubon, and Eileen Soper (the wildlife photographer).

"A richly illustrated biography…De Laszlo was talented, indeed, gifted, hard-working and dedicated. The world he painted, and into which this excellent biography takes the reader, has sadly vanished, but it survives in these wonderfully evocative paintings."—Contemporary Review