The story of the painter Philip de László (1869-1937) is a true rags to riches tale. Born in poverty in Budapest he was apprenticed to a photographer and studied art, gaining a place in the National Academy of Art before moving to Munich and Paris to further his studies. In Munich he met Lucy Guinness who he eventually married, against the wishes of her family. They has six children.
Seven years after their marriage the couple moved to London where he spent the rest of his life, building a very successful career as a society painter. His reputation and contacts were such that he was made a Member of the Victorian Order by Edward VII and ennobled by King Franz Joseph of Hungary. He is of course one of a long line of European artists who moved to Britain to build their careers.
One of his many portrait subjects was Edith Hope Iselin from New York, who he painted in London in 1930. That portrait was the inspiration for the portrait above. The dress was made by Suki Miles who also did the hair and make-up. The model is Ivory Flame.