Townley in His Library and a New Zoffany Biography

Posted in books by Editor on October 12, 2009

Last week’s Apollo competition asked:


Johan Zoffany, "Charles Townley with His Friends in the Townley Library," oil on canvas, 1781-3 (Burnley: Townley Hall Art Gallery)

Which antiquary and collector lived at Number 14 Queen Anne’s Gate (originally called 7 Park Street)?
Clue: Most of the collection of antiquities amassed by this person was acquired by the British Museum.

The Enfilade posting on the query from October 4 included, as a hint, this well-known painting of Charles Townley with His Friends in the Townley Library by Johan Zoffany. The portrait is now part of the collection at the Towneley Hall Art Gallery at Burnley in Lancashire, England. As noted on the museum’s website, the family left the ancestral home in 1902, and the Great Hall opened as a museum the next year. In addition to a gallery of paintings, the museum showcases a variety of displays covering natural history, Egyptology, local history, textiles, and decorative arts.

As for Zoffany, we can look forward to a new biography of the painter scheduled for release in January 2010. Penelope Treadwell’s Johan Zoffany: Artist and Adventurer will be published early next year by
Paul Holberton.

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