by Toshikata (1866 - 1908)
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 - 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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