Johan Zoffany (1733 - 1810)
A1219; oil on canvas; 75.2 x 62.7 cm (sight)
Prov: John Cowper, Carleton Hall, Cumberland; Asher Wertheimer and by descent
Accepted by H.M. Government in lieu of Inheritance Tax from the estate of Mrs Joan Cecily Conway and allocated to the Ashmolean Museum, 1999; WA1999.10
Manners and Williamson 1920, p. 243
The celebrated actor, David Garrick (1717 - 1779), bought out the young German artist, Zoffany, from his apprenticeship with Benjamin Wilson in 1762, and became one of his most consistent patrons. Most of Zoffany's portraits of Garrick show him either in character on the stage, or in conversation pieces. Here, he is seen in an informal pose without his wig, but with the traditional device of masks of Comedy and Tragedy below. A copy of this portrait in the National Portrait Gallery is dated 1763, making the prototype one of the first of the portraits of Garrick.
Information derived from the The Ashmolean Museum Complete Illustrated Catalogue of Paintings.