1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Zoffany, Johann
|←Zodiacal Light||1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 28
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ZOFFANY, JOHANN (1733-1810), British painter, whose father was architect to the prince of Thurn and Taxis, was born in Frankfort-on-Main. He ran away from home at the age of thirteen and went to Rome, where he studied art for nearly twelve years. In 1758 he left for England, and after undergoing some hardships was brought into fashion by royal patronage, and in 1769 was included among the foundation members of the Royal Academy. He went to Florence in 1772 with an introduction from George III. to the grand duke of Tuscany, and did not return until 1779. During this second stay in Italy he met with much success, and was commanded by the empress Maria Theresa to paint a picture of the royal family of Tuscany; this work he executed so much to the satisfaction of the empress that in 1778 he was created a baron of the Austrian empire. He went next to India, where he lived from 1783 to 1790, to which period belong some of his best-known paintings; but the last twenty years of his life were spent in England. He died in 1810 and was buried in Kew churchyard. His portrait groups of dramatic celebrities are, perhaps, the most highly esteemed of his many productions; they have considerable technical merit and show much shrewd insight into character. Several of the best are in the Garrick Club, London.