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 - Attractive kuchi-e illustration for the novel "Hatsune" (First Sound of the New Year). A young beauty in an elegant room, tilting her head slightly as she listens. She wears a violet kimono tied with a blue obi that features faint silver mica lines, her hair pulled back into a soft bun adorned with a comb and a ribbon. A large folding screen behind her features a blossoming plum tree, the background carefully detailed to look like squares of gold leaf. A charming design, nicely colored.
Artist - Takeuchi Keishu (1847 - 1915)
Image Size - 11 3/8" x 8 3/8" + left margin as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Backed with paper. Horizontal and diagonal folds. Slight toning and soiling, faint stain. Please see photos for details.
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