Johan Zoffany @ Royal Academy

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 74 months ago
Johan Zoffany @ Royal Academy
Johan Zoffany RA: Society Observed
 10 March 2012 to 10 June 2012
 
 Key. 50  
 
 Johan Zoffany
 The Tribuna of the Uffizi, 1772-7
 Oil on canvas
 123.5 x 155 cm
 The Royal Collection, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
 Photo The Royal Collection copyright 2011, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Johan Zoffany. The Tribuna of the Uffizi, 1772-7. The Royal Collection, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Photo The Royal Collection copyright 2011, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Purchased with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Art Fund, the Friends of the Tate Gallery and a group of donors 1994
Johan Zoffany. Colonel Mordaunt's Cock Match, 1784-86. Tate, London: purchased with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the National Art Collections Fund, the Friends of the Tate Gallery and a group of donors 1994. Photo copyright Tate, London, 2011
This photograph is issued to end-user media only. Single use only. Photographs must not be archived or sold on.
Johan Zoffany. Queen Charlotte, 1771. The Royal Collection, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Photo The Royal Collection copyright 2011, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Johan Zoffany RA: Society Observed
 10 March 2012 to 10 June 2012
 
 Key. 7  
 
 Johan Zoffany
 David with the Head of Goliath, 1756
 Oil on canvas
 92.2 x 74.7 cm   
 National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
 Purchased with assistance of the Isabella Mary Curnick Bequest and The Art Foundation of Victoria, 1994 (ICI??1994)
Johan Zoffany. David with the Head of Goliath, 1756. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Purchased with assistance of the Isabella Mary Curnick Bequest and The Art Foundation of Victoria, 1994 (ICI­1994) 
Johan Zoffany RA: Society Observed
 10 March 2012 to 10 June 2012
 
 Key. 48  
 
 Johan Zoffany
 The Gore family with George, Third Earl Cowper, c. 1775
 Oil on canvas
 78.7 x 97.8 cm
 Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Johan Zoffany. The Gore family with George, Third Earl Cowper, c. 1775. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection

Zoffany may not be as well known as his contemporary Royal Academicians like Gainsborough, but he was more travelled and adaptable in his painting style.

This exhibition charts the artist's progress from his early days in Germany and Italy, where he picked up on baroque and renaissance techniques, through to his transition to England where he mastered landscape painting. He later travelled to India where he produced works featuring more exotic locales.

Zoffany was most famous as a royal court painter and his portraits have a naturalistic style that shows the subject at ease, both with their surroundings and in their dress sense.

Most people have seen hundreds of similar landscapes and portraits, so what more does Zoffany have to offer? One of his specialities was to paint the lively interplay among many characters, reminiscent of the works of Pieter Bruegel. Once you discover the context of these paintings you'll begin to see that there are satirical and often humorous references in his works that aren't always initially apparent.

Zoffany's paintings rarely match the skill of Constable or the Dutch masters but, through both his subjects and his travels, he provides an animated and intricate perspective that is unique to his works.

Johan Zoffany RA: Society Observed is on at the Royal Academy of Arts from 10 March until 10 June. Tickets are £9, concessions available. David Hockney RA: A Bigger Picture is also still on at the Royal Academy until 9 April. Pre-booked tickets are sold out but you may still gain entry by queueing up on the day.

Last Updated 07 March 2012