De László’s rise from an obscure background in Budapest to a position as the most successful portrait painter in Europe is one of the fairy-tale stories of art history. By the time he was thirty, he had painted half the royalty of Europe and large swathes of the aristocracy. He went on to marry a British woman, of the Guinness family, and become a naturalised British citizen. He painted the present Queen as a little girl. By the time of his death just before the Second World War, he had also bagged several Presidents and notables in both Americas.