** artists illustrating boys fashions: Artists: Johann Zoffany

Artists: Johann Zoffanyn (Germany/England, 1733-1810 )

Figure 1.-- Johann Zoffany painted a wide range of subjects, but is best known for his portraits. This is Henry Knight (1738–1772), of Tythegston in Glamorganshire with his children (Henry, Robert and Ethelreda) . He became a captain in the 70th Foot (1762). He also probably served in the 15th Light Dragoons, as his elder son depicts here trying on a helmet of that regiment, inscribed with its battle honour 'Emsdorf'. This is one of Zoffany's largest family portraits and is a surprising given that Knikght was a Welsh squire of modest means. Zoffany was one of the most importnt painters of George III's long reign. This portrait is usually dated at about 1770.

Neo-classical artist Johann Zoffany was born in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany (1733). His father was an architect and court cabinet maker. He was raised int the court of Alexander Ferdinand, Prince von Thurn und Taxis. He benefitted from court patronage throughout his career. When the Prince set up his court in Regensburg, Johan was apprenticed to a local painter, Martin Speer (1702-65). fter completing his apprenticeship, Zoffany made the first of two trips to Rome (1750). He studied swith h the portrait painter Masucci. On his a second trip soon after, he was associated wiuth Piranesi. Upon completing hisd studies, he moved to London where he was active (1760). He also worked in Italy and India recently seized by the private army of the British East India Company. Zoffany's career in England was inituially impaired by his limited Englosh. As a result he had to seek employment with a clockmaker, Stephen Rimbault. He poainted scenes on clock-faces. He then began working in the studio of Benjamin Wilson (1721-88) who was a minor portraitist. Zoffany pained the drapery in portraits. His personal carrer began fairly quickly when the actor-manager David Garrick was accepted as his first major patron. Zoffany executed four conversation pieces of the Garrick household (1762). He also did theatrical picture. These were seen publically and resulted in some attention. Most notably Queen Charlotte was impressed. She became his patron. And became one of King George III's favorite artists. Given the large royal family, there was much to paint. The King nominated him a founder member of the Royal Academy. He was an important 18th century British artist whose reputation reached its height (about 1770). Zoffany exhibited at the Society of Artists (1762-69). After he was nominated by the King, he exhibiting there (1770-1800). Between 1772 and 1778 he worked primarily in Florence, but one work in England was the family of Sir William Young (1776). He painted The Interior of the Tribuna at Florence with treasures of the Uffizi--a stunning tour de force. The Uffizi was an important destination on the Grand Tour and Queen Charlotte wanted to see it. He returned to London (1779) but, issues with the King and Queen over 'Tribuna' caused him to go to to India (1783-89). By this time, his faculties were evaporating. The loss of his young son appears to have neen the major cause. He lived two decades after returning to England, but weas no longer active.


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Created: May 11, 2003
Last updated: 11:32 AM 3/22/2022