James Webb (1825 - 1895)


The English artist James Webb was born in 1825. He is believed to be a member of the Webb family of painters that also worked out of London and specialized in landscape and coastal paintings. His father is believed to Archibald Webb and Byron Webb his brother. Landscape painting seems to have been Webb’s forte, and his success in landscape lent an easy transition to marine painting. Working in the British marine style, his coastal paintings are either dramatic and forboding, or depict boats and life on a river. Webb worked in England, Wales, Scotland, France, Holland and the Rhine.


Webb exhibited mostly in London, especially at the Royal Academy starting in 1853 through 1888. He also exhibited at the British Institution, the Grosvenor Gallery, the New Watercolour Society and Suffolk Street.


His paintings are characterized by a “robust, naturalistic”2 style and by a light color palette with a strong sense of drawing. His coloring is believed to have been influenced by the great British marine painters Turner and Constable. His treatment of color and attention to the effects of light create a strong atmosphere in his work. 


A number of Webb’s pieces were sold at Christie’s through March, June and July 1868. Currently much of Webb’s work is featured in the Tate Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, London and in provincial galleries.


He died in 1895.