Webber, John

, a royal academician, and a man of *ery considerable talents, was the son of a sculptor, a native of Berne in Switzerland, but was born in London in 1751. Part of his education as an artist he received at Paris, but afterwards entered the Royal Academy of London. He was elected an associate Nov. 5, 1785, and a royal academician in February 1791. In the last voyage which captain Cook made to the South-Seas, Mr. Webber was appointed draughtsman to the expedition, and when the two ships, the Discovery and the Resolution, arrived at St. Peter and St. Paul, Kamtschatka, Webber was obliged to act as interpreter between captain Gower and major Behm, he being the only person on board of ei her ships who understood German. From this voyage he returned in 1780, when he was employed by the lot (is of the admiralty to superintend the engraving of the prints (by Bartolozzi and other eminent artists) executed after the drawings which he had made, representing the different events and scenes that occurred in the voyage, the accuracy of which has been confirmed by subsequent experience. When this work was concluded, he published, on his own account, a set of views of the different places he had visited in the voyage. They were etched and aquatinted by himself, afterwards coloured, and produced a very pleasing effect. This work was in part completed, when his health declined, and, after lingering for some months, he died April 29, 1793, in the forty-second year of his age.

His works consisted of paintings and drawings; the former were chiefly landscapes, though he painted some figures representing the inhabitants of the South-Sea islands, but they were deficient in the drawing. His landscapes were pleasing, and carefully finished, but with rather too much attention to the minutiae, and the colouring frequently too gaudy. There is a picture painted by him in the council-chamber of the Royal Academy; but the best production of his hand is a small view, in the possession of Mr. Farington, R. A. 2


Edwards’s Anecdotes of Painters. Pilkington.