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John Zoffany

male / English
Nationality/school
English
Born
Frankfurt am Main 1733-03-13/1733-03-15
baptismal date 15 March 1733 (Thieme/Becker)
Deceased
Strand-on-the Green 1810-11-11
See also
In this field, you will find references to names of groups or to the artists that made/make up groups. You may also come across references to other artists if there was/is question of collaboration without a joint name. This is the case, for instance, with artists who rendered parts of works by other artists (such as with P.P Rubens and J. Brueghel I).
This person/entity in other databases
Biographical information
Active in
  • Ellwangen (Jagst) 1740 - 1749
    He undertook an initial period of study in a sculptor's workshop in Ellwangen in the 1740s (possibly at the workshop of sculptor Melchior Paulus)
  • Regensburg 1745 - 1749
    apprentice with the artist Martin Speer
  • Rome 1750 - 1757
    In 1750, he travelled to Rome, entering the studio of Agostino Masucci
  • Ehrenbreitstein (Fort) 1759
  • Trier 1760
  • Londen (Engeland) 1761 - 1800
    In autumn 1760 he arrived in England, initially finding work with the clockmaker Stephen Rimbault, painting vignettes for his clocks. By 1764 he was enjoying the patronage of the royal family, King George III and Queen Charlotte, for his charmingly informal scenes such as Queen Charlotte and Her Two Eldest Children (1765),[2] in which the queen is shown at her toilette, with her eldest children, inside Buckingham House, and another, outdoors, with her children and her brothers
  • Regensburg 1772
  • Florence 1772 - 1778
  • Toscane 1788
    recommended to the Grand Duke of Tuscany by the English King George III (Benezit 1999)
  • Wenen 1788
  • Lucknow (India) 1783 - 1790
    Lucknow, capital and largest city of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh; during his return to England, he was shipwrecked off the Andaman Islands. The survivors held a lottery in which the loser (a sailor) was eaten. William Dalrymple describes Zoffany as having been "the first and last Royal Academician to have become a cannibal".[
born in
active in
Subjects
This field specifies the various subject categories or genres that constitute the oeuvre of the artist in question. The contents of this field are generally based more on the documentation available at the RKD than on the literature.
history (as a genre), hunting scene, portrait, topography, royal portrait, self-portrait
topographical and hunting images, mainly from India; A founding member of the new Royal Academy in 1768, Zoffany enjoyed great popularity for his society and theatrical portraits, painting many prominent actors and actresses, in particular David Garrick, the most famous actor of his day – Garrick as Hamlet and Garrick as King Lear – often in costume. He was a master of what has been called the "theatrical conversation piece", a sub-set of the "conversation piece" genre that arose with the middle classes in the 18th century. (The conversation piece – or conversazione – was a relatively small, though not necessarily inexpensive, informal group portrait, often of a family group or a circle of friends. This genre developed in the Netherlands and France in the 17th century and became popular in Britain from about 1720.) Zoffany has been described by one critic as "the real creator and master of this genre". In the later part of his life, Zoffany was especially known for producing huge paintings with large casts of people and works of art, all readily recognizable by their contemporaries.
Entered on: 1992-02-01; Modification on: 2018-08-12

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