Sometimes you can be looking at a pile of junk and something says, 'wait a minute!' I remember being down what i know as Alfie's at the back of Marylebone Road and going through the antiques shops with Annie and our friend Joe. On the stairs i spotted a large old oil painting which was filthy but looked interesting. It was some 4 foot by 3 foot had a bust frame but had something about it. I bought it on the condition the dealer had it cleaned and collected it a couple of days later.
It is an amazing 'Turneresque' painting of a valley probably in Germany or France but had no title just a clear signature James Webb.
Years later i had it authenticated and learned more about the Victorian artist who certainly was influenced by the likes of Turner. James Webb (1825–1895) specialised in marine views and landscapes and lived all his life in Chelsea. He exhibited at the Royal Academy and the British Institute between 1850 and 1888, and many of his works still hang in London in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Tate Gallery. Other works are found in a large number of provincial galleries.
I have acquired a great painting at a very cheap price but its one a love as each time you look at it you see something new and the atmosphere he creates is similar to that Turner often creates.