by Toshimine (1863 - 1934)
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 of 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.
A previously neglected genre of Japanese woodblock art, 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 for the novel "Haru mizu" (Spring Water). A young woman kneels next to a flowing river, a wooden tub of laundry in her hands. A spring breeze blows the towel around her neck, the edge caught between her teeth. A flowering cherry tree branch is tucked atop the pile of laundry, and a few petals drift through the air and float along with the current. The colorful figure contrasts nicely with the subdued tones of the background. A lovely design.
Artist - Toshimine (1863 - 1934)
Image Size - 11 1/2" x 8 5/8"
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Two horizontal folds. Small thinning spot, repaired. Slight toning, soiling, and creasing, a few marks, stains. Please see photos for details.
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