David Garrick (1717–1779) was one of the most celebrated actors of the 18th century. As an actor, playwright, theatre manager and producer he had enormous influence on the theatrical practice of the time, pioneering a more naturalistic acting style and reforming audience behaviour and set design, costume and special effects. He was also the patron of Johan Zoffany, who he bought out from his apprenticeship to Benjamin Wilson in 1762 and commissioned several portraits from. In this one, Zoffany paints Garrick without his wig, but with the masks of Comedy and Tragedy, denoting his patron’s profession.
Hogarth and Europe
FSC Certified paper and wood
Date of work
Original: Oil paint on canvas 752 x 627 mm © Ashmolean Museum
Johan Zoffany RA (1733 – 1810) was a German neoclassical painter, active mainly in England, Italy and India. Renowned for his theatrical and society paintings, he has been described as a master of the ‘theatrical conversation piece’ – informal group portraits that were hugely popular in Europe in the mid 1700s. The actor David Garrick was so impressed with his skill that he bought him out of his apprenticeship and became his patron. His success led to him becoming a founding member of the new Royal Academy in 1768.
The largest print size we are able to offer for this artwork is 60 x 45 cm.