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Philip Alexius de László (1869-1937)
Philip Alexius de László (1869-1937)

Mrs Adrian van Montagu, née Anne Mabel Olivia Trouton

Details
Philip Alexius de László (1869-1937)
Mrs Adrian van Montagu, née Anne Mabel Olivia Trouton
signed, inscribed and dated 'P.A. László. 1910.V./London,' (lower left)
oil on board
36 5/8 x 28 ½ in. (93 x 72.4 cm.)
Provenance
The sitter, and by descent in the family.
Literature
L. de László, 1910 diary, private collection, 24 January entry, p. 8; 4 June entry, p. 44; 13 June entry, p. 48.
Vita d’Arte, Fourth Year, vol. VII, no. 39, March 1911, Siena: L. Lazzeri, 1911, pp. 104-108, illustrated.
The Illustrated London News, 3 June 1911, p. 843, illustrated.
The Illustrated London News, New York Edition, Summer Number, 17 June 1911, p. 907, illustrated.
The Studio, Vol. LIII (53), 1911, pp. 260-269, illustrated p. 262.
Képes Hét, vol. I, issue 2, 1 October 1911, p. 43, illustrated.
O. von Schleinitz, Künstler Monographien, n° 106. Ph. A. von László, Bielefeld and Leipzig, 1913, p. 118, illustrated, pl. 132.
R. Mainar, 'Felipe A. László', Museum: Revista Mensual de Arte Español Antiguo y Moderno y de la Vida Artistica Contemporanea, Barcelona, Third Year, vol. III, no. 8, 1913, p. 296, illustrated.
The Times, 23 November 1937, p. 12.
The Listener, vol. 18, no. 464, 1 December, 1937, p. 1177.
The Art News, vol. 36, no. 10, 4 December, 1937, p. 20.
The New York Times, Rotogravure Section, 5 December 1937.
A.L. Baldry, 'Philip A. de László: An Appreciation', The London Studio, February 1938, p. 85.
Exhibited
London, Agnew’s, Exhibition of Portraits by Philip A. Laszlo, May-June 1911, no. 2.
New York, Wildenstein & Co., Exhibition of Paintings by Philip A. de László, M.V.O., November-December 1937, no. 34.
London, Christie's, A Brush with Grandeur, 6-22 January 2004, no. 47.

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Lot Essay


This portrait is reminiscent of English 18th century children’s portraiture, which emphasized the innocence and childish grace of its sitters. George Romney’s portrait of Marianne Holbech, clutching her dog in her lap, is a particularly close comparison (Philadelphia Museum of Art). De László was especially creative in his compositions for portraits of children and von Schleinitz wrote: 'it is in this very branch of art that the Master always has something new to say, and we also see the way in which he loves children and can empathize with them and understand them, and thus express their feelings' (O. von Schleinitz, nstler Monographien, n° 106. Ph. A. von László, Bielefeld and Leipzig, 1913, pp. 117-118).
The artist’s wife Lucy recalled that the portrait was finished 4 June 1910 and that the artist remarked: ‘This is one of the best things I’ve done’ (L. de László, László, 1902-1911 diary, Private Collection). De László maintained this opinion for the rest of his life and included the portrait in his final exhibition of portraits at the Wildenstein Gallery, London, which opened two days after his death on 23 November 1937.
Lucy was a cousin of the sitter’s father, Professor Frederick Trouton, on the Guinness side and the families became very close after the de Lászlós' move to England in 1907. De László painted or drew many of the Troutons between 1908 and 1915. Four of these were made in 1915 and show the sitters in uniform, including Olive’s three eldest brothers, Frederick, Desmond and Maurice. He also made a portrait drawing of her father in 1908, an almost full-length portrait of her mother with her sisters Ruth and Mary, and a study of her and her sisters, both 1915. A study of the sitter is dated 1915, but shows her in the same costume as the present picture and was most likely a preparatory work which de László gave to the family and inscribed at a later date.
Anne Mabel Olivia 'Olive' Trouton was born in Dublin on 27 November 1900, the eldest daughter of Professor Frederick Trouton (1863-1922) and his wife Annie Fowler (1864-1928). Olive trained as an architect, and on 18 May 1929 married a fellow architect, Adrian Albert van Montagu (1901-1994). Their son, John Patrick, was born in 1930. They collaborated with Barbara Acworth, designing domestic architecture and public houses for the Taylor Walker brewing company. They lived first in Bloomsbury, but moved in with Barbara Acworth in Hampstead during the Second World War. In 1953 they moved to Chesham, Buckinghamshire. Olive continued to work informally as an architect, designing for friends and family, and for Henry de Laszlo, the artist’s eldest son, who had spent much time staying with the Trouton family in childhood, and to whom he was particularly close. She died at home 1 October 1986, at Braziers End, Chesham, Buckinghamshire.
We are grateful to Katherine Field for her assistance in preparing this catalogue entry, which will be included in the Philip de László catalogue raisonné, currently presented in progress online: www.delaszlocatalogueraisonne.com
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