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.
Watching a Prisoner Kuchi-e Print - Intriguing kuchi-e design of a beauty standing on the shore in the moonlight, watching as a policeman leads away a man he has just arrested, the two figures in silhouette. She wears a gray outer robe over a striped kimono, tied with a soft blue obi patterned with maple leaves and swirling water. Her hair is pulled back into a soft bun with a few loose wisps framing her face. The full moon glows softly overhead, and faint ripples can be seen on the water below. An attractive illustration for the novel "Oya Gokoro," detailed with burnishing on the hair and black collars.
Artist - Tomioka Eisen (1864 - 1905)
Image Size - 8 3/4" x 11 5/8"
Condition - This print with good detail as shown. Vertical folds. Toning, a couple creases and small spots. Please see photos for details.
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