[Qing Dynasty] British female painter—Elizabeth Keith, using woodblock prints to record China from the late Qing Dynasty to the early Republic of China—1915

Speaking of China in the early 20th century,

What images come to mind?

Is it the major historical events described in history books?

These familiar histories are actually just the tip of the iceberg,

What was the corner of each city in China like in that era?

What is the status of ordinary people?

What is your daily life like?

(China at the end of the Qing Dynasty and the beginning of the Republic of China recorded by photos)

However, a “foreigner” uses a paintbrush

Gives the most authentic answer.

For example, outside the Forbidden City in Beijing,

Some idle people are walking,

Some hid under the trees to enjoy the shade.

At that time, Beijing was the same as it is now,

There is a lively night market at night,

Everyone lights up,

It’s pretty pretty.

Outside the Lama Temple in late autumn,

A few monks wearing monk robes,

I don’t know if I just came back from a long distance or I am preparing for a long journey.

This foreigner tells stories about China in the early 20th century.

named Elizabeth Keith,

Scottish female, born in 1887.

A foreigner far away in the western continent of Europe,

How did it connect with such a distant ancient oriental country?

It was still in such an era when transportation and information were very underdeveloped.

Elizabeth was born in a scholarly family,

My cousin was a famous anthropologist in Scotland at that time,

My sister has always dealt with words.

In such an environment,

Elizabeth is naturally cultivated to be different from ordinary women,

Marrying and having children as a housewife is not what she wants,

She wants to pursue her favorite art,

The “freedom” was not easy for many women at that time,

For this she taught herself watercolor and drawing.

(Elizabeth Keith)

I moved to live in Tokyo with my sister,

Elizabeth couldn’t hold back her heart anymore,

You must know that the east is mysterious and far away,

For the out of place Elizabeth,

The attraction of the East to her is simply too great.

In this way, Elizabeth does not care about others,

Decided to cross the ocean alone,

Set foot on the land of Tokyo, Japan in 1915.

Elizabeth (left) and sister

In an instant, she fell in love with the land of Asia,

Everywhere I look, I have yellow skin and black hair,

This stay is 9 years.

For 9 years, she lived and traveled with her sister in Japan,

And use a brush to record the streets and the daily life of the people in Japan.

(Two Japanese children playing games)

Except Japan,

She also went to Korea.

(Elizabeth’s paintings in Korea)

As the largest country in East Asia,

Elizabeth naturally cannot miss China.

Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou, Hangzhou,

Hong Kong and other places have left her traces,

Feel the mystery of this ancient oriental country,

On the one hand, I am also recording what I see along the way with a brush,

Elizabeth left the most paintings in China.

Not a high-ranking official, nor a diplomatic commissioner,

As an ordinary tourist who can no longer be ordinary,

Elizabeth’s eyes and pen of China

Perhaps presenting the most authentic appearance of that era.

SuzhouThe world in the streets:

In the city of Beijing under the auspicious snow, a woman is walking slowly with an umbrella:

During my trip in Beijing, I came across a beautiful and unique small gazebo,

Elizabeth drew it decisively:

The flow of people is often full nowadays

Shanghai Yu Garden looked like this at that time:

Suzhou grandparents,

Grandma is busy with her needlework,

The granddaughter who was supposed to be reading seems to be attracted by the Suzhou embroidery in front of her,

I can’t help but want to help grandma:

Lively Beijing Qianmen Street:

A man dressed as an official or rich man in Beijing:

Suzhou Tiger Hill Pagoda:

Beijing Outside the Forbidden City, children are playing,

There are also hard-working rickshaw drivers working hard:

SuzhouStreet View:

The night scene of Suzhou city written by Elizabeth,

The familiar phrase instantly jumps out in the mind

“Hanshan Temple outside Gusu City, the midnight bell to the passenger ship”

Beijing People outside the gate of the Forbidden City:

Beijing Deshengmen at night:

A child holding a tiger toy:

Suzhou Bell Tower:

Drama actor:

ShanghaiAn elegant woman in a cheongsam:

Suzhou Twin Towers:

HangzhouLingyin Temple:

Suzhou in spring, the best representative of Xiaoqiao Liushui:

Beijing outside the city, delivery people, pullers, sellers, everyone is running around for a living:

A Chinese old lady holding a hand stove to keep warm in winter:

Hong Kong Bay at night (now Victoria Harbour):

Suzhou A unique bridge in the city,

The boatman is passing under the bridge:

Beijing Manchu nobles in the Forbidden City:

And government officials at the time:

A Chinese man with the appearance of a scholar

In a garden with a beautiful environment

Writing something with a pen:

Children at play:

A nearly ten-year journey to the East,

Let this European woman fall in love with this land completely,

Therefore, there is a constant bond with Asia.

After 9 years of sojourn life,

Elizabeth is back in Scotland,

Organized his paintings and participated in many exhibitions,

There is also a book “Oriental Window”, which records the oriental world,

It contains most of her paintings in the past 9 years.

Elizabeth Keith


A self-taught artist who grew up in London.

Influenced by Japanese Ukiyo-e, she combined Eastern and Western art very well. With her diligent painting and outstanding talent, she has won honor and status in society.

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