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 - Terrific image of a man pleading with a young beauty who turns her back to him. He looks up at her imploringly, but she seems not to be listening. A lovely portrait of the woman with soft shading and wisps of hair framing her face. She holds a pipe in her hand, showing off her western style ring. A charming scene, beautifully drawn. Unusually, this woodblock does not have the two vertical folds normally associated with kuchi-e prints, meaning it had never been used as a frontispiece.
Artist - Yamamoto Eishun (1879 - ?)
Image Size - 8 7/8" x 11 5/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Some spots. Please see photos for details. Nice overall.
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