Philip Alexius de László
30 April 1869
; Budapest, Hungary *
22 November 1937
; London, United Kingdom *
Philip de László was a major Hungarian painter known particularly for his portraits of royal and aristocratic personages.
László was born in Budapest as Laub Fülöp Elek (Hungarian style with the surname first), the eldest son of a Jewish tailor. The family changed its name to László in 1891. He 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 traveling the world to fulfill commissions.
László's patrons awarded him numerous honors and medals. In 1909 he was named an honorary Member of the Royal Victorian Order by King Edward VII of the United Kingdom. In 1912 he was ennobled by King Franz Joseph of Hungary; his surname became "László de Lombos". The family later shortened the name to "de László".
László became a British citizen in 1914 but was interned for over twelve months in 1917 and 1918 during the First World War.
László suffered a heart attack in 1936. The following year he had another heart attack and died at his home in Hampstead, near London. In 1939, the book Portrait of a Painter. The Authorized Life of Philip de László by Owen Rutter, written in conjunction with de László, was published.