Sebastian Smee looks at ‘Johan Zoffany RA: Society Observed’
Johan Zoffany’s paintings beautifully detail his era
In range, skill, and accomplishment, Johan Zoffany ranks with Reynolds, Gainsborough, Hogarth, and Joseph Wright of Derby in the annals of 18th century British art. But, being German-born, peripatetic, and somewhat mercurial, he has never quite qualified for inclusion in the British pantheon - never mind that he was a court painter to George III, a founding member of the Royal Academy, and recognized and esteemed by all his peers. An exhibition at the Yale Center for British Art aims to give him his due.