Keith, Elizabeth (1887 - 1956), "Hong Kong Night"
|Title||Hong Kong Night|
|Medium||Original Japanese Woodblock Print|
|Publisher||S. Watanabe Color Print Co.|
|Reference No||Miles #11|
|Size||13 -1/4 x 16 " (over-sized)|
|Condition||Very fine, with superb colors.|
Notes: One of the finest extant examples. Removed from the original S. Watanabe studio folder; never framed or displayed. Signed by the artist in the lower right corner: "Elizabeth Keith". The artist's most sought-after design.
The thriving island of Hong Kong was for many years the one remaining jewel in the crown of British colonialism in the Far East. Hong Kong was a natural destination for the Scottish born artist Elizabeth Keith as it was the powerful Scottish trading companies which ruled supreme in Hong Kong after the island and adjacent territory had been ceded to British rule following the Opium Wars. Elizabeth Keith’s superb color woodcut image has captured the very essence of this thriving island. Hong Kong was always as much alive by night as by day and Elizabeth Keith’s image shows it at its most picturesque. In the foreground, Chinese junks mingle with the western steamships moored in Hong Kong harbour. The city of Hong Kong rises above the bay up towards Victoria Peak. A myriad of lights twinkles in the deepening dusk, their light reflected on the rippled waters of the bay. The rising moon has created an aura of cool white light from behind the skyline as the onset of night approaches.
"Hong Kong Harbour" is a fascinating depiction of this prosperous city, long before the skyscrapers of glass and steel lined its waterfront – this magnificent woodcut remains one of the great depictions of Hong Kong as it once was.