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 - Dramatic kuchi-e depiction of a man abducting a young child, holding him down in a boat as he uses his teeth to ready a rope to tie the boy's hands together. A circular inset at upper right shows a beauty reading a book, her sleeve falling over the edge of the inset to add a sense of dimension. An unusual subject, detailed with burnishing on the woman's hair. The first time we've come across this subject.
Artist - Meiji era artist (unsigned)
Image Size - 8 5/8" x 11 3/4" + right margin as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Vertical folds. Slight toning and soiling, a few creases and stain at edge. Please see photos for details.
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