Philip Alexius de László, MVO (30 April 1869 Budapest - 22 November 1937 London) was a 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.
As a young man, László apprenticed 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. He remained based in London for the rest of his life while 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.
In 1900 László married Lucy Madeleine Guinness, a member of the wealthy and well-connected Guinness family. They had first met in Munich in 1892, but for some years had been forbidden to see each other. Lucy de László's connections almost certainly brought her husband new commissions. They had six children (Photograph of László with his wife and sons):
Eva de László (born and died 1903, Budapest).
Henry de László (died 1967); married Julianne Fischer
Stephen Ernest de László; married Heather J Jones
Saragh Mary de László (born 1988)
Christian Henry Paul de László (born 1990)
Pauline de László
Stephen Philip de László (died 7 January 1939); married Edith Alexandra Diana von Versen (died 30 December 1938)
Paul de László; married Josephine
Christopher Paul de László; married April 1967 Helen Genia Arntzen (born Gerling)
Jane Marie de László; married 1966 William Haywood Ruffin
(fourth son) Patrick David de László (died October 1980); married 1stly Deborah Greenwood (died 11 November 1980; daughter of Hamar Greenwood, 1st Viscount Greenwood); married 2ndly 1977 Pamela Newall, Baroness Sharples (born 1923) as her second husband; married (div by 1975) Penelope Anne Kitson as her third husband. Patrick and Deborah had issue:
Damon Patrick de László married 1972 Sandra Daphne Hacking (daughter of Douglas Eric Hacking, 2nd Baron Hacking)
Lucy Deborah de László (born 1975)
Stephanie Gay de László married 1978 Roger Stanley Williams
Clemency Lucy Williams (born 1979)
Aidan Paul Hammar Williams (born 1981)
Octavia Julian Williams (born 1983)
Charmian de László
Meriel de László
John Kitson married Victoria Hyde
(fifth son) John Adolphus de László (died 1990) married 1stly Peggy Hennessy, by whom 1 son and possibly more children. He married ca. 1954 (divorced ca. 1977) Rosemary Townsend, née Pawle (died 2004), former wife of Group Captain Peter Townsend, as her second husband, and had issue one son and one daughter with her (plus two stepsons Giles and Hugo Townsend by her first marriage).
Martin Richard de László (son of Peggy Hennessy); married 7 February 1967 Mary Gwendolen Freeman, daughter of Lady Winefride Freeman, née Fitzalan-Howard(1914–2006), youngest daughter of Henry Fitzalan-Howard, 15th Duke of Norfolk). and had three children, who are in remainder to the Barony Herries of Terregles:
Rupert de Laszlo (b. 1968), a company director.
Oliver de Laszlo (b. 1971)
Lydia de Laszlo (b. 1980)
(by Peggy Hennessy?) Lavinia de Laszlo
(by Rosemary Townsend, later Marchioness Camden) Piers de László, an artist, currently setting up a de Laszlo museum in Portugal.
(by Rosemary Townsend, later Marchioness Camden) Charlotte de László; married Jezza Saucisson-Salmon.
László had seventeen grandchildren.