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 - Lovely scene of two young women pausing in conversation while out for a stroll, a few maple leaves fluttering through the air. Lovely facial expression and fine burnished detail in the upswept hairstyles and soft shading in the tree trunk. A charming kuchi-e illustration for the novel "Momiji" (Maple or Autumn Colors).
Artist - Tomioka Eisen (1864 - 1905)
Image Size - 8 3/4" x 11 3/8"
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Two folds. Tiny loss at corner, repaired. Slight toning, soiling, and offsetting, a few creases. Please see photos for details.
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