Elizabeth ‘Lisa’ Gottschalk de Hirsch 1933

Seated three-quarter length to the right in an armchair, her head turned full face looking to the viewer, wearing a pale blue evening dress with a salmon pink silk stole draped around her back and forearms, a two-stranded pearl necklace and pearl drop earrings, both hands in her lap holding a fan

Oil on canvas, 100 x 74.5 cm (39 ½ x 29 ¼ in.)

Inscribed lower left:  de László 1933 / LONDON   

NPG 1933 Album, p. 7

Sitters’ Book II, f. 75:  Lisa G. de Hirsch July 17 1933

Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires

Inventory n˚ 8641

De László painted Elizabeth Gottschalk de Hirsch in 1923 and her husband, Alfred, in 1922 [110526] & [110525], both portraits are known only from contemporary photographs. When the artist painted the couple again in 1933 he also painted a portrait of the sitters’ daughter, Leonor Matilde [110527], which remains in a private collection. The 1933 portraits of Alfred and Elizabeth Hirsch were presented to the museum by the Hirsch family to the Museo de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires in 1983, as part of a larger collection of fine and decorative art.[1] 

The Señores Hirsch were not entirely satisfied with this portrait, which led Señora de Hirsch to write to the artist on  25 October 1934: “Unfortunately you didn’t quite understand : my husband only wants to have the back of the chair and the two golden shells removed from my portrait, not the shawl.”[2] Again, on 10 December 1935 she wrote: “You may remember that there was something about my last portrait that my husband did not like and as we do not plan to come to Europe, he still wants to have the little amendments done and kindly asks you to do them. He wants to send you the portrait soon […].Please be kind and don’t be annoyed, I’m sure you will gladly do it for him. In order to better explain the necessary changes I’m sending a photo of my portrait where everything is indicated.”[3] De László replied on 19 January 1936: “I cannot quite make out what you wish to have done about your portrait, but of course I cannot touch it without yourself being present, and I cannot explain to someone else what to do, because I must see for myself what is necessary to be done. I would be very glad to see the picture, but only if you could be present so that I could compare it with nature. I am sure you will understand that this is the only way to do it.”[4] It is not clear whether de László agreed to the minor alterations she suggested as there is no contemporary photographic record of the portrait just after completion, but his correspondence with Señora de Hirsch reveals some irritation on his part and an unwillingness to grant her wish.

For biographical notes on the sitter, see [110526]


By descent in the family until gifted to the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires, 1983


DLA022-0339, letter from Sra. de Hirsch to de László, 25 October 1934

DLA022-0336, letter from Sra. de Hirsch to de László, 28 March 1935

DLA024-0195, letter from Sra. de Hirsch to de László, 10 October 1935

DLA024-0192, letter from de László to Sra. de Hirsch, 19 January 1936

SMdeL 2012

[1] Inventory numbers 110685 and 8633. 

[2] DLA022-0339, op. cit.

[3] DLA024-0195, op cit

[4] DLA024-0192, op cit