Francis de Erdely was born in Hungary in 1904 and lived through World War I as a teenager. He was banished from Hungary by the Gestapo. De Erdely studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest, the Real Academie des Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid, and the Ecole du Louvre in Paris. He moved to America in 1944 and lived in California where he helped develop the West Coast Modernist School. His paintings are stylized and his early work depicts the atrocities of war.