(b nr. Frankfurt, 13 Mar. 1733; d Strand-on-the-Green, Middlesex [now part of Chiswick, Greater London], 11 Nov. 1810). German-born painter who settled in England in 1760 after working in Rome. He was patronized by the famous actor David Garrick and made his name with paintings representing scenes from plays, usually depicting Garrick in one of his favourite parts. They show how quickly he adapted to English taste, and he also painted conversation pieces of much the same small scale and in the same relaxed vein. No doubt because of his German background, he was taken up by George III and Queen Charlotte and he painted numerous works for the royal family. The two most important (still in the Royal Collection) are The Academicians of the Royal Academy (1772) and The Tribuna of the Uffizi (1772–8).

Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)

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