De László’s enchanting portrait of Lord Madeley (1914) purchased by the Grosvenor Museum, Chester, by Peter Boughton
The Grosvenor Museum’s greatest acquisition in 2015 was a portrait of Richard Crewe-Milnes, Earl of Madeley, the three-year-old son of the 1st Marquess of Crewe, painted in 1914 by Philip de László, one of the most celebrated portrait painters of his age.
This masterly oil sketch exemplifies the artist’s painterly panache and retains its original circular gilded frame in the Louis XV style. Following conservation to both painting and frame, it makes a superb addition to the permanent display in the Art Gallery. The portrait directly fulfils our tightly focused collecting policy with the sitter’s Cheshire connection. It is also a very fine work of art, displaying great technical skill and aesthetic quality. I am delighted that we have been able to acquire a work of such quality and interest, adding to our collection a splendid example of an internationally important artist. This enchanting portrait is the loveliest painting I have ever bought, and I believe it will give our visitors enormous pleasure. The de László has introduced a work whose sophistication, bravura brushwork and glamorous vitality surpass anything else in the collection, and we are extremely keen to develop the collection further in this direction.