Portrait of Raymond P. Johnson-Ferguson signed and dated 'de Laszlo/1923.' (lower right) oil on canvas 66.5 x 54.5 cm. (26 1/4 x 21 1/2 in.)
PROVENANCE: Commissioned by Lord Aberconway and thence by family descent
LITERATURE: 1923 Album, National Portrait Gallery, p.19
Having painted a portrait of Raymond for his grandfather, Lord Aberconway, the previous year, it is likely that de László executed this second portrait for the child's parents, Major the Hon. Edward Johnson-Ferguson and his wife Elsie McLaren.
Both parents had been painted by de László, respectively in 1915 and 1917, whilst their two elder sons, Brian and Neil, had been painted in 1912, the year Raymond was born. It seemed only natural that, as all members of the family had been painted, Raymond's portrait should be added to their gallery.
Whereas in his first portrait of Raymond, de László had created a modern image of the child, here, he turned to a more classical imagery, reminiscent of Thomas Lawrence, to echo perhaps the half-length portrait of Raymond's mother Elsie, also wearing midnight blue offset by a white shirt.
For biographical notes on the sitter, please see the following catalogue entry.
We are grateful to Dr Caroline Corbeau-Parsons for compiling this and the following catalogue notes, which will be included in the Philip de László catalogue raisonné online (www. delaszlocatalogueraisonne.com)
The Hon. Mrs de Laszlo and a team of editors are compiling the catalogue raisonné of the artist's work. Dr Caroline Corbeau is the British and French Editor. Please see www.delaszloarchivetrust.com or contact email@example.com for more information.