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 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 design of two young girls carrying offering trays for the Doll Festival display during Girls' Day. The older girl holds a covered black lacquer bowl atop a red and black tray, ready to place it on the tiered display covered with red cloth at right. She smiles over her shoulder at her younger companion, who brings a set of miniature dishes. The folding screen at right features a flowing stream detailed with swirling silver mica, framed by cherry blossoms overhead. The younger girl's kimono is also patterned with silver mica checks. An attractive image for this traditional holiday celebration.
Artist - Tomioka Eisen (1864 - 1905)
Image Size - 8 1/8" x 10 7/8"
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Two horizontal folds, folds across corner. Slight toning, soiling, and creasing, a few stains. Please see photos for details.
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