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Johan Joseph Zoffany (Frankfurt 1733-London 1810)

John Cuff Signed and dated 1772

RCIN 404434

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John Cuff was a Fleet Street optician who supplied King George III with microscopes; Zoffany’s affectionate celebration of his trade is a parody of Dutch and Flemish alchemist scenes, which are similarly brown, and over-cluttered with incomprehensible widgets. Zoffany’s beautiful evocation of light (an important phenomenon for an optician) also pays tribute to Dutch painting.