Born in Pirkenhammer near Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad) in Bohemia, Johann Zacharias Quast learned his craft from his father, the porcelain painter Konrad Ferdinand Quast, who had moved to Pirkenhammer from Ansbach in Bavaria. He furthered his training in Leipzig, Dresden and Meißen, and finally in Vienna, Bamberg and Nuremberg. In 1936, he then followed his father to Prague, as he had opened his own workshop there; Johann took this over after his father’s death in 1845.
Quast focused in particular on miniature painting, and was a highly regarded porcelain painter, enamel painter, and portrait painter. He specialized in the gilding of cutlery and, from the 1850s, in stained glass.
In 1851, he was awarded a gold medal for his exhibits at the international exhibition in London; he also exhibited at the General German Industrial Exhibition in Munich in 1854, and in Dresden in 1866. At the Vienna world fair of 1873 he exhibtied transparent glass-paintings and windows for the first time.
Among his well-known commissions are those for Kaiser Ferdinand V’s castle chapel at Reichstadt (now Zákupy), for five windows for Prince Rohan’s castle at Sichrow (Sychrov), windows for St Vitus’s Cathedral in Prague, windows for the cathedral in Königgrätz (Hradec Králové), the church in Carlsbad (Karlovy Vary), and the Church of St Barbara in Kuttenberg (Kutná Hora).