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 - Charming kuchi-e design of a beauty reading a letter by the light of an oil lamp. She smiles as she looks down at the message, another unopened letter on the floor before her. A blue kimono patterned with plum blossoms and stylized cranes is draped around her shoulders, worn over a red and pink tie-dyed robe. A pet rabbit perches atop the oil lamp, a red flame flickering below. Nicely composed with beautiful color. A fine illustration for the novel "Akatsuki" (Dawn). This image appears on page 148 of Helen Merritt and Nanako Yamada's recent book, "Woodblock Kuchi-e Prints: Reflections of Meiji Culture."
Artist - Takeuchi Keishu (1861 - 1942)
Image Size - 12 3/4" x 8 1/2" + left margin as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Horizontal folds. A couple tiny losses at edge, repaired. Creasing, slight soiling. Please see photos for details
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