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 - 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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