Arthur James Balfour c. 1908
Seated half-length to the right, full-face, wearing informal dress; a loose jacket and dark knotted tie, his left hand resting against his cheek
Oil on canvas, 116.9 x 85.8 cm (46 x 33 ¾ in.)
Inscribed lower right: Étude de Mr. Balfour / Souvenir de / P.A. László
Sitters’ Book I, f. 80: Arthur James Balfour June 20 / 1908
National Portrait Gallery, London
Balfour sat to de László in June 1908 for a formal portrait  which the sitter commissioned to hang at Whittingehame, his family seat. This spontaneous study may have been executed then, or in August 1908, when the artist visited Balfour and his sister at Whittingehame on his way back from Gosford.
De László painted a second formal portrait of him, in 1914 , for Trinity College, Cambridge, for which there also exists two preparatory works  & , both of which remain in the collections of descendants of the artist.
For biographical notes on the sitter, see .
The Countess of Wemyss;
Bequeathed to the National Portrait Gallery, 1931;
On loan to 10 Downing Street from 1984 to 1999
•The Dowdeswell Galleries, London, An Exhibition of Portraits by Philip A. Laszlo, June and July 1908, n° 28
•Abdy, Jane. The Souls, London, 1984, pp. 42-3, ill.
•McConkey, Kenneth. Edwardian Portraits, London, 1987, n° 87, pp. 238-39, ill. p. 238
•Cannadine, David, The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy, 2nd ed., Picador, London 1992, pl. 41
•László, Lucy de, 1908 diary, 5 June entry, p. 181
We are grateful to the National Portrait Gallery in London for their support. The image above should not be reproduced without prior written permission from the National Portrait Gallery, London
 The property of the 10th Earl and Countess of Wemyss. It may be that they accompanied de László on his visit, and that he painted the study portrait in the company of this group of friends, and gave the resulting work to the Wemyss family then.