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 book, "Woodblock Kuchi-e Prints: Reflections of Meiji Culture." Kuchi-e prints have become highly sought after and collected by the serious collector.
Comments - Charming kuchi-e illustration of a frightened beauty holding her hands to her ears during a thunderstorm. She wears a blue and white butterfly print cotton kimono, and sticks of incense burn in a dish behind the mosquito netting at left. Lovely painterly detail in the hairline. A beautiful subject, seldom seen in reprint. Published in 1977 by Sodosha in Tokyo.
Artist - Gekko (1859 - 1920)
Image Size - 13 1/4" x 9" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Please see photos for details. Nice overall.