Thursday, 20 October 2016

The Dog-eat-dog world of Art



Johan Zoffany. Seems like he was out of fashion for a good while, which is my excuse for never having heard of him. But what a story there is to tell! 

A founding member of the Royal Academy (1769), he goes on record as being allegedly the first (and I would hope, the last) member of the Academy to be a cannibal. 

He was a favourite of both the Austrian and British courts and is lauded for his development of the “conversation piece” style of group portraits. His most notable work is the Tribuna of the Uffizzi, which attempted to convey the all treasures of the Uffizzi, Florence in one painting. This was made for George III. At a time when the Grand Tour of Europe was in vogue for aristocratic young men, George never left the confines of southern England. (for the many years of his mental incapacity he was literally confined first at Kew, and later at Windsor). 

Zoffany travelled extensively from his birthplace in Frankfurt. He lived for some time in Lucknow, India and it was on his return voyage that his ship was lost. Washed up on one of the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal, the shipwrecked passengers apparently drew lots to decide which of the crew they would eat. 

More info, links and pics to follow....

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