back to exhibition go to previous work   go to next work

Colour Printmaking in England 1900-1940

Elizabeth Keith

1887 - 1956

[Chinese Pagoda – ducks in foreground] by Elizabeth Keith

[Chinese Pagoda – ducks in foreground]   1919

  Original woodcut, printed in colours.
Signed in pencil.
Ref: Not known to Miles.
S 382 x 254 mm; I 343 x 220 mm
Original Elizabeth Keith woodcut, printed in colours.

Very rare – not recorded by Miles. The original blocks for this work are thought to have been destroyed in the 1923 Tokyo earthquake, along with the majority of the blocks for Keith’s early woodcuts.

Very fine signed proof impression with fresh colours, printed in tones of blue, green, orange, brown, grey, yellow and black inks.

One of Elizabeth Keith’s earliest colour woodcuts. No other impression of this early work is recorded.

One of the first of Elizabeth Keith’s splendid colour woodcuts of the eastern lands which captured her heart, this work was to herald a career which produced some of the finest ukiyo-e prints of the Orient made by any western artist. Remaining unmarried and a perpetual traveller of no fixed abode, Elizabeth Keith produced over 100 colour woodcuts of the Far East through which she found considerable commercial success, especially in America. Her last prints date from the year 1939 – the outbreak of the Second World War and the anti-Japanese sentiment which it brought with it, effectively destroyed the market for her sensitive portraits of life in Asian lands, bringing her career as a printmaker to an abrupt and untimely end.

This tranquil image of a pagoda in rural China is one of only a very few previously unknown colour woodcuts by Elizabeth Keith to have emerged since the publication of Miles’s leading catalogue on the artist’s printed works.

On simile Japan paper, with full margins and deckle edge. Very fine condition.