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 - Lovely kuchi-e illustration of a beauty at a tea stand in an iris garden. She rests one hand against a wooden pillar as she looks out over the garden, the water's edge framed by slender green leaves and delicate purple and blue irises. She wears a blue striped kimono tied with an orange obi patterned with silver mica, her long sleeve tucked up under one arm. Beautifully detailed with burnishing on the hair and fine line work. An attractive subject.
Artist - Toshikata (1866 - 1908)
Image Size - 8 1/2" x 11 3/4" + top margin as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Vertical folds. A couple wormholes, repaired. Slight creasing, toning, and soiling, stains at corners, slight spotting at edges. Please see photos for details.
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