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Johan Zoffany

Born: near Frankfut-am-Main, 13 March 1733
Died: Strand-on-the-Green (near Kew), London, 11 November 1810
Nationality: German

son of Anton Franz Zauffaly, Court Cabinetmaker and Architect in Regensburg to Alexander Ferdinand, Prince of Thurn und Taxis


apprenticed to painter and engraver Marin Speer; with portrait painter Agostino Masucci (1750, Rome)


1757 – Clemens August, Prince-Archbishop and Elector of Trier commissions frescoes

1760s – employed by Stephen Rimbault painting clock faces; works for theatrical set painter Benjamin Wilson; commissions from actor David Garrick for theatrical “conversation pieces”

1762 – exhibits paintings made for Garrick at Society of Artists (London); engravings establish Zoffany’s fame

1769 – nominated to Royal Academy by George III (King of England)

1772 –travels to Florence to work on commission from Queen Charlotte (England), Tribuna of the Uffizi (Royal Collection, Windsor Castle)

1773 – elected member of Reale Accademia delle Belle Arti (Florence)

1774 – elected member of Accademia Clementina (Bologna)

1776 – elected member of Accademia Etrusca (Cortona); created Baron of the Holy Roman Empire based on series of family portraits (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna) painted for Grand Duke Leopold

1778 – elected member of  Accademia di Belle Arti (Parma)


Rome (1750, 1757); London (1760-72; 1779-83; 1789-); India (1783-89); Florence (1772-79)

Commissions from: 

David Garrick; Samuel Foote; George III and Charlotte (King and Queen of England); Grand Duke Leopold, later Leopold I (Emperor of Austria and Holy Roman Emperor); Warren Hastings, Governor-General of Bengal

Important Artworks: 

Life Class at the Royal Academy, 1771-72 (Royal Collection, Windsor Castle)

Tribuna of the Uffizi, 1771-78 (Royal Collection, Windsor Castle)