William Keith Oil Painting "Elm Knob," circa 1885
William Keith (Scottish-American, 1838 – 1911)
Elm Knob, circa 1885
Oil painting on canvas
Signed to the lower left
Inscribed to the stretcher
Keith was best known for his tonalist landscapes, many of which depict the California countryside. Born in Aberdeenshire, Keith emigrated to New York City in 1850, where he studied the arts and gained a post as an engraver, working with Harper’s Magazine and London Daily News. By the 1860s, Keith settled in San Francisco and opened his own engraving business, all the while studying paintings under Samuel Brookes and his first wife, Elizabeth Emerson. He first exhibited his watercolors in 1866 to great reviews from critics. Afterward, Keith received many commissions and traveled to Germany, Paris, and back to the United State for work, connecting with many well-known and well-connected artists along the way. Over 180 paintings are now held in the collection of Saint Mary’s College of California in Moraga.
- artwork shows signs under UV-light of areas of possible inpainting repair work scattered throughout the painting; minor craquelure, scuffing, and accretions to paint; light scratching, scuffing, discoloration, and flecks of debris to frame.
- measurements of frame; sight measures 13.75" W x 9.75" H.