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 typically have one or two folds because of their use.
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 - Handsome kuchi-e illustration of a beauty sewing, a length of cloth draped across her lap. She looks down, shyly covering her mouth with her kimono sleeve as her guest smokes a slender pipe. A sewing chest with a pincushion on top rests on the floor nearby, and teakettles sits on a brazier. A folding screen behind the woman features a mandarin duck at the edge of a pond. Beautiful burnished detail on the hairstyles. An attractive image, nicely drawn with fine line work.
Artist - Toshikata (1866 - 1908)
Image Size - 8 1/2" x 11 3/8" + top margin as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Vertical folds. Wormhole, small hole, repaired. Creasing, slight toning and soiling, a few stains. Please see photos for details.
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