John Cother Webb

(b. 1855, Torquay, England, d. 1927, London)

   John Cother Webb, was in his lifetime called the "doyen" of English mezzotinters. Born at Torquay in 1855, he was almost predestined for the Royal Navy,  but a chance introduction to Tom Landseer by a mutual friend, induced Webb's father to give young Webb the chance for an artistic life.

He entered Landseer's studio in 1869. Landseer was a severe taskmaster. Helpful and admirable as a teacher, but fastidious in his requirements, he would tolerate no "easy" methods in his pupils.

Webb's early works were on steel as engravings, but his preference was for copper and acid. All of his plates were worked by himself from beginning to end, employing a hand made-rocker which he fashioned for himself in 1879.

His first exhibition at the Royal Academy was at the age of 21 in 1875.

   Webb was responsible for the promotion of the  mezzotint as a desirable item for collecting. His action resulted in phenomenal increases in prices for works in this medium in the year 1917 and 1918.

Testament to his skill and fame as a London artist, his edition of Admiral Sir  David Beatty, after Hugh Riviere, sold out the edition of 250 promptly in 1919 at 550 Pounds Sterling for each print, equivalent to $2,500.00 each in 1919 dollars!

He died in the year 1927 at his home at Clifton Hill, St. Johns Wood, London.