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 - Dramatic kuchi-e illustration from the life of the thirteenth-century Buddhist Priest Nichiren. Scheduled to be executed at Takinoguchi in Sagami Province, Nichiren calmly prayed and was saved by a miracle when bolts of lightning shot down from the sky, shattering the sword of the samurai about to execute him. The priest sits serenely with his prayer beads clasped between his hands and eyes shut, as rain and winds gust across the scene. The terrified warrior leaps back in surprise as orange rays of light streak over him. A terrific image, beautifully composed and detailed.
Artist - Takeuchi Keishu (1861 - 1942)
Image Size - 8 5/8" x 11 3/4" + top margin as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Vertical folds. Slight thinning and stitching holes at side, a few holes, repaired. Creasing, slight soiling, a few stains. Please see photos for details.
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