Hermitage in Hagi Kuchi-e Print, 1899

by Tomioka Eisen (1864 - 1905)

Current Status

Hermitage in Hagi Kuchi-e Print, 1899 by Tomioka Eisen (1864 - 1905)

Original Tomioka Eisen (1864 - 1905) Japanese Woodblock Print
Hermitage in Hagi Kuchi-e Print, 1899

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 - Intriguing kuchi-e illustration for the novel "Hagi no Iori" (Hermitage in Hagi) showing a captive samurai tied to a tree, with a beauty pictured in a rectangular inset at right with the corner folded over. The samurai's hands are bound behind his back with a narrow rope, and he looks out with a determined expression, his lips firmly set. His hair is rather disheveled, with loose wisps framing his face and neck, and he wears a black kimono tucked into striped hakama pants. The beauty wears a green and gray robe, looking back over her shoulder as if at the samurai. Her hair is pulled into a large bun adorned with a comb, floral hairpin, and ribbon. A fascinating subject, nicely detailed with burnishing on the woman's hair and a lightly embossed pattern on the background of the inset.

Artist - Tomioka Eisen (1864 - 1905)

Image Size - 8 5/8" x 10 1/2" + margin as shown

Condition - Nice color and detail. Vertical folds, diagonal fold at edge.

Hermitage in Hagi Kuchi-e Print, 1899 by Tomioka Eisen (1864 - 1905)
Hermitage in Hagi Kuchi-e Print, 1899 by Tomioka Eisen (1864 - 1905)

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