The Cock Fight, Manila by Elizabeth Keith

The Cock Fight, Manila by Elizabeth Keith

The Cock Fight, Manila

Elizabeth Keith

Title

The Cock Fight, Manila

 
Artist
Year
1924  
Technique
color woodcut 
Image Size
17 5/16 x 12 3/8" image size 
Signature
pencil, lower right image; pencil signed again in lower right margin 
Edition Size
possibly 100, not completed 
Annotations
titled in pencil on verso with "(16)" 
Reference
Not in Miles 
Paper
antique-white laid Japanese hosho 
State
published 
Publisher
Watanabe 
Inventory ID
LEAR116 
Price
$2,500.00 
Description

Miles does not record an impression of this print in the raisonné. This impression is double signed and is numbered 32 in the lower right. It appears to be her 16 print, chronologically. This impression is titled in pencil on the verso, possibly by the artist.

The subject of this large 1924 color woodcut is a large barn where a crowd of men are seated, watching a cock fight after having wagered on the outcome.

This is an image, like bullfighting, war, boxing etc. that has to be evaluated on both its composition and its content, it can be unsettling but it is also well executed, from the artist's perspective. Keith opts not to show the actual violence, just its anticipation, setting up an energy in the composition that is all directed to the birds.

The brutal "sport" of cockfighting goes back centuries and was witnessed by Magellan in the Philippines in 1521. It continues to be practiced around the world today, though pressure from various groups grows to end the practice worldwide. Proponents of the practice cite cultural and religious relevance for continuing it.