Johann Zoffany


Johann Zoffany

Johann Zoffany, Zoffani or Zauffelij (b. March 13, 1733 – November 11, 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." [Ellis Waterhouse, "Painting in Britain 1530 to 1790," Fourth Edition, New York, Viking Penguin, 1978; p. 317. See also pp. 315-19.]

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 [Waterhouse, p. 315.] — 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.

In popular culture

In the comic opera "The Pirates of Penzance," by Gilbert and Sullivan, the Major-General brags of being able to distinguish works by Raphael from works by Gerard Dou and Zoffany.

Trivia

"The Frankfurt-born Zoffany (1734-1810) lived in Lucknow for two and a half years, staying much of the time with Claude Martin. On his way back to England (where he had settled in the 1750s) he was shipwrecked off the Andaman Islands. Lots having been drawn among the starving survivors, a young sailor was duly eaten. Zoffany may thus be said with some confidence to have been the first and last Royal Academician to become a cannibal."

William Dalrymple, "White Mughals", p. 209n.

References


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Johann Zoffany — The Tribuna of the Uffizi Johann Zoffany, auch Zoffani oder Johannes Josephus Zauffely (* 1733 in Frankfurt am Main; † 1810 Strand on the Green) war ein britischer Maler deutscher Herkunft. Leben Johann Joseph Zoffany wurde in F …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Johann Zoffany — Johan Joseph Zoffany Autoportrait en David avec la tête de Goliath, 1756 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Johann Zoffany — Autorretrato como David con la cabeza de Goliat, 1756 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Zoffany — Johann Zoffany The Tribuna of the Uffizi Johann Zoffany, auch Zoffani oder Johannes Josephus Zauffely (* 1733 in Frankfurt am Main; † 1810 Strand on the Green) war ein britischer Maler deutscher Herkunft. Leben Johann Zoffany wurde in Deutschland …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Zoffany —   [ zɔfənɪ], Zauffaly, Johann Joseph Edler von (seit 1776), auch John Zoffany, englischer Maler deutscher Herkunft, getauft Frankfurt am Main 13. 3. 1733, ✝ Strand on the Green (heute zu London) 11. 11. 1810; kam vermutlich 1760 nach London, wo… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Zoffany, John — ▪ English painter also spelled  Johann Zoffani , original name probably  Johann Joseph Zauffely , also spelled  Zauphaly  born c. 1733, Frankfurt am Main [Germany] died Nov. 11, 1810, Strand on the Green, Middlesex, Eng.       German born… …   Universalium

  • Johan Joseph Zoffany — Johann Zoffany The Tribuna of the Uffizi Johann Zoffany, auch Zoffani oder Johannes Josephus Zauffely (* 1733 in Frankfurt am Main; † 1810 Strand on the Green) war ein britischer Maler deutscher Herkunft. Leben Johann Zoffany wurde in Deutschland …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Johan Joseph Zoffany — Autoportrait en David avec la tête de Goliath, 1756 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Johannes Josephus Zauffely — Johann Zoffany The Tribuna of the Uffizi Johann Zoffany, auch Zoffani oder Johannes Josephus Zauffely (* 1733 in Frankfurt am Main; † 1810 Strand on the Green) war ein britischer Maler deutscher Herkunft. Leben Johann Zoffany wurde in Deutschland …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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