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.
Spirit of Plum Blossoms Kuchi-e Print, 1909 - Beautiful portrait of a woman from the novel "Rafusen" (Spirit of Plum Blossoms). She leans against the trunk of a blossoming plum tree, looking over her shoulder with a thoughtful expression. The long sleeves of her red top completely cover her hands, and a green cloth is draped over one arm, trailing down the front of her full robe. A lovely facial expression, beautifully drawn. A fine kuchi-e subject.
Artist - Kajita Hanko (1870 - 1917)
Image Size - 11 3/8" x 8 1/4"
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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