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 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 - Dramatic, rather gory scene of a commoner and a samurai fighting with swords. At left, the commoner raises his bloody weapon above his head as blood spurts from a wound to the samurai's neck. The warrior clutches his throat as he tumbles backwards from the blow. The commoner already has the severed head of another victim wrapped in a blue and white cloth hanging from his obi. The room opens onto a garden with a stone lantern. Nicely detailed with silver mica on the blades and the samurai's obi. This first time we've seen this kuchi-e design.
Artist - Meiji era artist (not read)
Image Size - 11" x 8 1/4" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with good detail as shown. Horizontal and diagonal folds. Wrinkling throughout. Please see photos for details.
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