The Kuchi-e Tradition - Kuchi-e prints are woodblock frontispiece illustrations used in the publication of Japanese novels and magazines around the turn of the 20th century. Most kuchi-e prints were illustrations of bijin and continued the tradition of idealized beauties in Japanese art. The subjects, however, have a decidedly Meiji era feel about them and reflect the artistic movement towards more western design. Kuchi-e prints typically have one or two folds because of their use.
Much interest has been generated in the subject since the publication in 2000 of Helen Merritt and Nanako Yamada's book, "Woodblock Kuchi-e Prints: Reflections of Meiji Culture." Kuchi-e prints have become highly sought after and collected by the serious collector.
Comments - Lovely kuchi-e portrait of an elegant beauty looking over her shoulder. Her hair is softly swept back into a large bun adorned with a single hairpin. Her black outer robe has slipped from her shoulders, revealing a red kimono with a brocade purse tucked into it. She wears fashionable red lipstick that takes on a green tone when applied more thickly, giving the appearance of two colors. Curtains hang in the doorway at left, and a man can be seen peering around her shoulder at right. An attractive design for the novel "Ejima."
Artist - Yamanaka Kodo (1869 - 1945)
Image Size - 12 1/4" x 8 5/8" + right margin as shown
Condition - This print with nice color and detail as shown. Horizontal folds, a few small marks. Please see photos for details.
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