Johann Zoffany

German Neoclassical Painter, 1733-1810
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Johann Zoffany oil paintings
Johann Zoffany : Charles Towneley in his Sculpture Galler
Johann Zoffany's oil painting. , 30831-Zoffany, Johann-Charles Towneley in his Sculpture Gallery
Johann Zoffany : Prince Ernest Gottlob Albert of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
Johann Zoffany's oil painting. , 30832-Zoffany, Johann-Prince Ernest Gottlob Albert of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
Johann Zoffany : The Tribuna of the Uffizi-detail
Johann Zoffany's oil painting. , 30833-Zoffany, Johann-The Tribuna of the Uffizi (detail)
Johann Zoffany : The Tribuna of the Uffizi
Johann Zoffany's oil painting. , 30834-Zoffany, Johann-The Tribuna of the Uffizi
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Biography
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Johann Zoffany, Zoffani or Zauffelij (b. 13 March 1733 – 11 November 1810) was a German neoclassical painter, active mainly in England. His works appear in many prominent British national galleries such as the National Gallery, London and the Tate Gallery. Zoffany was born in Frankfurt. He came to Britain to enjoy the patronage of the royal family. Zoffany was favoured by British King George III and Queen Charlotte, painting them in charmingly informal scenes — including one, "Queen Charlotte and Her Two Eldest Children" (1764), in which the queen is with her children in her dressing room. Johann Zoffany was known for being very arrogant with his art. He had been known to have an outstanding argument with many artists, he would often draw caricatures of other artists he did not like in his art. "It is the best designed of all Zoffany's works and in the minute imitation of nature...it is unexcelled." He was also noted for his portraits of prominent actors and actress in the roles they played, as in his "Garrick as Hamlet" and "Garrick as King Lear". This genre is sometimes known as the "theatrical conversation piece," a sub-set of the "conversation piece" genre that rose with the middle class in the eighteenth century. (The conversation piece painting was a relatively small—and therefore inexpensive—informal group portrait, often of a family or a circle of friends; a type of painting that had developed in the Netherlands and France and became popular in Britain after 1720. The term "conversation" was applied to any informal small group.) Zoffany has been described by one critic as "the real creator and master of this genre" and "a thoroughly bad painter" simultaneously — which necessitates a low opinion of the "conversation piece" genre. In the later part of his life, Zoffany became especially noted for producing huge paintings with large casts of people and objets d'art, all readily recognizable. In paintings like "The Tribuna of the Uffizi," he carried this extreme fidelity beyond clutter, almost to mania - the Tribuna was already displayed 18th century display (ie with many objects in little space), but Zoffany had other works brought in from elsewhere in the Uffizi. He remained in Britain, and died at Strand-on-the-Green.

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