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Colour Printmaking in England 1900-1940

Elizabeth Keith

1887 - 1956

East Gate, Seoul by Elizabeth Keith

East Gate, Seoul   1920

  Original woodcut, printed in colours.
Signed in pink chalk.
Ref: Not known to Miles.
S 335 x 410 mm; I 313 x 387 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 Elizabeth Keith’s early woodcuts.

Superb, strong impression with rich, unfaded colours. Signed proof, printed in blue, orange, green, grey and black inks.

One of the first works to show Elizabeth Keith’s accomplished mature style, East Gate, Seoul is one of the style of striking evening scenes for which Elizabeth Keith’s work is best remembered. The deep blues of approaching night contrasted with the orange illumination from inside the distant houses, has created a strong sense of atmosphere in this striking image. The period from 1920 to 1921 proved to be an exceptional year for Elizabeth Keith, producing some of her masterpieces of colour woodcut. During her early years in the Far East, Elizabeth Keith had cultivated contacts with Christian missionaries throughout the Orient to enable her to visit areas sometimes inaccessible to western women to draw subjects for her prints. It was through these contacts that she was given access to make the studies for this night scene of the East Gate at Seoul (Korea) in any degree of safety. It remains one of the most striking of her early printed works.

On firm cream Japan paper with margins, as issued. Very fine line of slight discoloration at extreme edge of image, otherwise very good original condition with exceptionally strong, bright colours.