by Takeuchi Keishu (1861 - 1942)
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 grieving widow biting a cloth in distress. The portrait is inset against a scene of a graveyard as evening falls, with a purple coat lined with red draped over one of the tombstones. The moon glows faintly in the sky at left. An interesting kuchi-e subject, detailed with fine line work and burnishing on the beauty's hair. This print was never used in a magazine as it has no vertical folds from insertion.
Artist - Takeuchi Keishu (1861 - 1942)
Image Size - 8 3/8" x 11 1/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Small tear at edge, slight thinning at corner, repaired. A few light creases and small spot. Please see photos for details. Good overall.
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