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 portrait of a beauty leaning against a cherry tree, enjoying the spring weather as a few pink petals drift across the sky, one finger held to her chin in a thoughtful manner. A fashionably dressed student, she wears a crepe silk kimono tucked into pants over a Western style white blouse with ruffled sleeves. Her hair is pulled back into a soft bun topped with a large blue bow, and a red under kimono provides a colorful note to her attire. This image appears as plate 6.18 in Helen Merritt and Nanako Yamada's recent book, "Woodblock Kuchi-e Prints: Reflections of Meiji Culture." A beautiful kuchi-e illustration for the novel "Hana no shita" (Beneath Flowers).
Artist - Toshimine (1863 - 1934)
Image Size - 8 3/8" x 11"
Condition - This print with nice color and detail as shown. Backed with paper. Folds. Some prints have wrinkling or a few spots. Please see photos for details.
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