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 - Interesting kuchi-e image of a Heian era beauty biting her lower lip anxiously with a strand of hair in her mouth as she pulls up the sleeve of her light green outer robe. Her hair falls loosely over her shoulders, and she has the "moth's wing" eyebrows fashionable at the time. The portrait appears as if on a sheet of paper with the corner folded over to reveal a view of a country house with a fenced garden and glowing windows. Beautifully detailed with burnishing on the hair, and delicate cloth embossing on the pink kimono and the folded corner of paper. The red orange pigment used on the collar and lining of the green robe has oxidized to a dark tone. The first time we've offered this kuchi-e subject.
Artist - Suzuki Kason (1860 - 1919)
Image Size - 8 1/2" x 11" + top margin as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Vertical fold. Light smudge, a few small spots, slight creasing at edge. Please see photos for details.
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