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Elizabeth Keith – East Gate, Seoul, Sunrise – 1921

Posted: August 4th, 2022 | No Comments »

Elizabeth Keith (1887-1956) is one of the many intersting female artists who worked in East Asia in the first half of the twentieth century I’ve mentioned in passing several times – here in a South China Morning Post long read on the contemporaneous artist Katharine Jowett and here in my book Destination Peking in a chapter on another contemporaneous artist of Keith’s, Bertha Lum. Both Jowett and Lum worked largely in Peking and northern China though also studied and spent time in Japan and were deeply influenced by Japanese woodcut techniques.

Elizabeth Keith (left, standing) with her sister in Tokyo

Keith, originally from Scotland, travelled extensively throughout Japan, China, Korea and the Philippines. She visited Tokyo in 1915 and stayed for nine years before visiting other Asian countries, including notably Korea. After a trip to Korea around 1921 she brought some watercolors back and exhibited them in Tokyo – the painting below is, I believe one of that collection. Keith returned to Britain in 1924.

Anyway, this Japanese style woodblock print in colour of ‘East Gate, Seoul, Sunrise’ dates to 1921 and is soon up for auction. Keith’s work rarely appears for sale nowadays. The auction is on September 7 2022, if you’re interested, and you can bid online – click here.

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