by Gekko (1859 - 1920)
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 typcially have one or two vertical folds, because of their insertion in a magazine or book as an illustrative print.
Much interest has been generated in the subject since the publication in 2000 of Helen Merritt and Nanako Yamada's groundbreaking book, "Woodblock Kuchi-e Prints: Reflections of Meiji Culture." Kuchi-e prints have become highly sought after and collected by the serious collector.
Comments - Charming kuchi-e illustration of a frightened beauty holding her hands to her ears during a thunderstorm. She wears a blue and white butterfly print cotton kimono, and sticks of incense burn in a dish behind the mosquito netting at left. Lovely painterly detail in the hairline. A beautiful subject, seldom seen in reprint. Published in 1977 by Sodosha in Tokyo.
Artist - Gekko (1859 - 1920)
Image Size - 13 1/4" x 9" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. A few creases at right corners from original publisher mounting. Please see photos for details. Nice overall.