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 - Interesting kuchi-e scene of a seated beauty looking down with a pensive expression, her eyes nearly closed, a slender pipe in one hand. She wears a pair of striped kimono over a blue under robe with a delicate white floral design, her hair adorned with a comb and a purple ribbon. A vase on the wall behind her holds blossoming plum branches. An inset at right shows a couple strolling along the bank of a river, the water rushing past numerous large stones. Both are bundled up against the cool early spring weather, the beauty wearing a fringed shawl and head scarf while the man wears a Western style coat with a hood and a hat. A fascinating design, with the vertical red pole providing a physical separation between the beauty and the subject of her thoughts. Nicely detailed with burnishing on the beauty's hair.
Artist - Takeuchi Keishu (1861 - 1942)
Image Size - 8 3/8" x 10 7/8"
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Stitching holes along vertical centerfold, repaired. Creasing, slight toning and soiling. Please see photos for details.
If you are a new bidder, please read the Rules and Guidelines page before bidding.