by Tomioka Eisen (1864 - 1905)
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 - Poignant image of a mother walking with her young son. The crying boy wipes his eyes with one hand as his mother leads him by the wrist, anxiously biting on a blue and white cloth. The round inset features a fine building in shades of gray and black. Beautiful burnished detail on the woman's hair and the black obi and collar. An interesting kuchi-e illustration from the novel "Cursed" (Bachi Atari).
Artist - Tomioka Eisen (1864 - 1905)
Image Size - 8 3/8" x 10 7/8" + right margin as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Backed with paper. Vertical folds. Slight soiling and creasing. Please see photos for details. Good overall.
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