Wednesday 22 November 2023

Lot 295

Philip Alexius de László, PRBA, Hungarian / British 1869-1937-  Portrait of Sir Frederick George...

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Lot 295

Philip Alexius de László, PRBA, 
Hungarian / British 1869-1937- 
Portrait of Sir Frederick George...

Price Realised: £11,808

Estimate: £3,000 - £5,000

Price realised is hammer price plus fees (31.2% Buyers Premium inclusive of VAT).

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Lot 295


Philip Alexius de László, PRBA, 
Hungarian / British 1869-1937- 

Portrait of Sir Frederick George Painter, half-length, wearing a black suit and holding a pocket watch; 

oil on canvas, signed and dated 'A. Laszlo 1923.' (lower left), 92 x 61.3 cm. 

Private Collection, UK. 

Laib L11201 (428) / C21 (16) Sir F. Painter. 
Sitters’ Book II, f. 37: Frederick Painter Oct. 2 1923. 
DLA080-0027, letter from Lady Painter to de László, 10 July 1923. 
DLA080-0026, letter from Sir Frederick Painter to de László, 22 October 1923. 
DLA080-0025, letter from Sir Frederick Painter to de László, 25 October 1923. 
The de László Archive Trust, 'The Catalogue Raisonné of Works by Philip de László (1869-1937) [online]', no.111055. 

Sir Frederick Painter commissioned his portrait after visiting the artist’s exhibition in June 1923 at the French Gallery on Pall Mall. The gallery received a commission of 10% of the honorarium and the fee for the portrait was 400 guineas (DLA080-0025, op cit., the equivalent of approximately £17,244 in 2023). A letter from Painter’s wife indicates that de László had to delay her husband’s sittings in July and she hoped he might be painted in late September: 'The portrait is to be my husband’s gift to me and I am eagerly looking forward to possessing what I feel sure will be a fine portrait, and an artistic treasure! May I suggest that when you fix the sittings you will kindly arrange for the mornings. My husband is no longer young & he finds afternoon appointments fatiguing. There is one other matter which perhaps it is early days to mention, but I believe I am right in thinking that you paint with the canvas already in the frame? May I ask for a 'dull gold' frame? The Spanish frames which we admired so much would not suit the room in which I hope to hang my husband’s portrait.' (DLA080-0027, op cit.). De László appears to have compromised by using the Spanish frame he wished but having it completely gilded rather than the more typical black with gold ornamented corners. 

Sir Frederick Painter signed the Sitters’ Book on 2 October 1923 and a portrait of this type typically required two or three sittings. It was evidently a great success as Sir Frederick wrote to the artist soon after: 'We are charmed with the excellent portrait of myself which came home last Thursday. I didnt know I was so good looking! We hope you would be able to find time to give us a call to help us as to hanging the portrait but fear your time is too fully occupied. We called at Mr Laib’s but find he is away until Wednesday. All our friends who have seen your excellent work join in praise of it as a splendid portrait which is most satisfactory to me and my wife is delighted with it.' (DLA080-0026, op cit., Paul Laib was a fine art photographer used by the artist to photograph his portraits). 

Painter was born on 18 December 1844, the son of James Painter and his wife Emma Tyler. On 12 December 1911, aged sixty-six, he married Marion Connolly and they lived at 8 The Boltons in Kensington. Painter was an accountant at the firm Messrs. Tribe, Clarke, Painter & Co. and served as Sheriff of London between 1913 and 1914. Just before the outbreak of the First World War he was knighted by King George V, appointed Chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur by the President of France, received the Order of the Cross of Belgium, and appointed Knight of the Order of the Dannesborg with the jewel of the order presented by the King of Denmark. 

He died on 9 June 1926 and is buried at Richmond and East Sheen Cemetery in Greater London. He left thousands of pounds in multiple bequests to many causes including the Bristol General Infirmary, the City of London Poor Box and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. He is here shown half-length to the right, looking full face to the viewer, wearing a black three-piece suit, with sapphire buttons on the waistcoat, a wing-collar shirt and grey bow-tie, and the thumb of his left hand hooked in his gold watch-chain. 

We are grateful to Katherine Field for writing the catalogue entry for this portrait, which will be included in the Philip de László catalogue raisonné, currently presented in progress online: (no.111055.). 

Buyer's Premium

The buyer shall pay the hammer price together with a premium thereon of 26% up to £20,000 (31.2% inclusive of VAT), 25% from £20,001 - £500,000 (30% inclusive of VAT), 20% from £500,001 thereafter (24% inclusive of VAT). The premium price is subject to VAT at the standard rate.

VAT is not charged on the hammer price unless it is stated that there is 'VAT applicable on the hammer price at the end of the description. Buyer's premium is subject to VAT.

Qualifying living artists and the descendants of artists deceased within the last 70 years are entitled to receive a re-sale royalty each time their work is bought through an auction house or art market professional.

It applies to lots with hammer value over €1,000 as follows:
0 to €50,000 - 4%, €50,000.01 to €200,000 - 3%
€200,000.01 to €350,000 - 1%,
€350,000.01 to €500,000 - 0.5%
Exceeding €500,000 - 0.25%
ARR is capped at €12,500

Please note ARR is calculated in euros. Auctioneers will apply current exchange rates.

Export of goods

Buyers intending to export goods should ascertain whether an export licence is required before bidding. Export licences are issued by Arts Council England and application forms can be obtained from its Export Licensing Unit. Details can be found on the ACE website or by phoning ACE on 020 7973 5188. The need for import licences varies from country to country and you should acquaint yourself with all relevant local requirements and provisions before bidding. The refusal of any such licences shall not permit the cancelling of any sale nor allow any delay in making full payment for the lot.

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