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Joseph Webb

1908 - 1962

Hospitalfield Farm (2nd plate) by Joseph Webb

Hospitalfield Farm (2nd plate)   1927

  Original etching.
Signed and inscribed in pencil.
Ref: Guichard 6, undescribed first state.
S 242 x 363 mm; P & I 189 x 290 mm
Very rare first state proof. Very fine impression of this scarce original etching, printed with plate tone. Signed and inscribed in pencil “Hospitalfield Farm, 1st state” and “to my dear friend Margaret. Aug 1933”.

One of Joseph Webb’s earliest etchings, Hospitalfield Farm was etched at the end of his four years at the Hospitalfield Academy in Arbroath. It is Webb’s first truly characteristic printed work, defining the artist’s inherent interest in isolated ecclesiastical architecture, often in a rural setting and always imbued with a sense of peace.

The work of Joseph Webb is regarded by many as the last flowering of the Griggs and Palmer tradition. Webb had a great admiration for the work of F.L. Griggs whom he visited at Chipping Campden in 1929, but his work is distinguished from that of Griggs by the sense of power and mystery with which it is invariably imbued. Sadly, he was dogged by ill health throughout his life and the outset of his career coincided with the collapse of the print market; consequently, Joseph Webb was never to reap the rewards which his precocious ability deserved. It is only in relatively recent years that Joseph Webb has begun to receive the recognition he has long deserved as one of the finest and most important printmakers of his generation.

Joseph Webb’s first attempt at this subject had been on a smaller plate earlier the same year.

On pale cream laid paper with cross-in-hand watermark. With full margins. Some damage due to old tape at upper left, otherwise good original condition.