Cleaning underway. Not one of J.Lobis’s best Austrian Landscapes, from what I’ve seen online, but I think it’s enchanting.

I don’t know if you’ve found the same but local authority recycling centers seem to vary enormously. When we lived at Coles, up in the Hampshire Highlands, we used the centres at both Petersfield and Alton – wonderful places! Both sites had a ramshackle wooden shed which served as a shop and any saleable item destined for the skip was hived off and offered for sale. There it either sold for whatever the guys thought they could get for it or was hoovered up by one of the legion of car-booters who used the tip as a low cost wholesaler.

That was true recycling – and I would that our tip here in Chichester offered the same service. Not only do they not have a shop but the sale, or even gifting, of items between visitors is forbidden. ‘Don’t throw that away, mate, I’ll have it!’ Not in Chichester you won’t – the whole lot is scrapped. Shame on you Chichester District Council!

I don’t think we ever visited Petersfield tip without coming away with something. Terracotta pots, metal garden furniture, CD towers, We even picked up a fabulous leather Chesterfield sofa for our TV producer pal Pete’s new barn conversion – £50! What a bargain! As I was frequently running out of picture framing glass the local tip was a wonderful source of faded, but framed, posters – a perfect low cost stop gap. It was whilst flicking through the stack on such a mission that my eyes alighted on a little oil painting.

‘What the devil’, I said to myself ‘is this doing here!’ Obviously not someones hobby work, here was a professional hand: every brush stoke a single daub of colour, too small for a palette knife, each was obviously accurately applied with a small’ish but well loaded brush; far more time consuming than it looked at first glance. Why on earth would someone take it to the tip! Bizarre!

I took it to the office ‘How much do you want for this?’

“50p mate”

“I’ll take it!”

Bei Igels by J.Lobis - 12" x 16"

(Above) Clean and sparkling – what a difference.

And that’s how ‘Bei Igels’ by one J.Lobis came into my possession. It isn’t huge, just 12″ x 16″, but I think it’s enchanting. Pencilled onto the back of the canvas is ‘1100’ (Marks, Pfennigs, Schillings?) with ‘Bei Igols, Tyrol’ written on the stretcher frames canvas rim. I Googled the artist at the time and learnt that he/she was Austrian, born 1875 and died 1905 – just 30 years old! Also that the most recently auctioned painting, despite a guide price of 400 to 500 Euros, only achieved the heady sum of £50 (I’m not too glum, well, 10,000% isn’t a bad mark up is it?) and that’s it – no further information, none anywhere online, not here and not in Germany or Austria. How sad, and I wonder if the same fate will befall me in 120 years – almost certainly, and much, much, sooner I’d imagine. Oy vey! 🙂

I’m afraid to say the painting has languished in my studio’s plan chest ever since. I’d take it out and have a look from time to time, tell myself I must do something about it, replace it and slide the drawer shut – until last week! I bought a small bottle of picture cleaner – ammonia based – and set about cleaning it. It’s been washed in Distilled Turpentine to remove any residue and will be re-varnished shortly – satin I suspect, the colouring is too light and subtle to benefit from high gloss. That’s the partially cleaned picture heading up the page, the finished piece just above, and I have to say I’m chuffed to bits.

It isn’t going back in the drawer either: I’ve just ordered a rather expensive gilt swept frame and the paintings going on the wall as soon as it’s arrived. I think I shall raise a glass of Schnapps to your memory and your art, mein freundin – ‘Zu deiner Erinnerung’

Now if I can only find a space……

Pip, pip,


If anyone reads this who does know more about the artist (as if!) drop me a line would you: I’d love to know and put it online. It’s one thing to be a known artist but how much better to be a ‘known’ known artist – if you get my drift.

#chichesterdistrictcouncil #lobis #jlobis #igelstyrol #paintingsoftyrol

Framed Lobis painting

Post script – March 2021: The frame has arrived and the painting is now hung. The moulding is little over the top possibly but then the painting is well over a hundred years old – in keeping and worth it I think. Also worth the £80 it cost – the painting remember cost me 50P!

As you can see I found space. The monochrome print of ‘Wedded’ by Alfred, Lord Leighton, (one of my artistic superheroes, which is possibly even older and still in it’s original frame) now hangs in the hall.