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 - Lovely large format reprint of a famous kuchi-e or book frontispiece design by artist Eiho Hirezaki, one of the leading illustrators of the Taisho era. The beauty sits with her elbow resting on the edge of a round window, a plum blossom in hand, looking pensively at the flowering tree outside. She wears a blue outer kimono with a dotted pattern over a red and white tie-dyed under robe. Her hair is pulled back into a large soft bun adorned with a comb, hairpins, and a tiny blue bow, a few wisps framing her face. She has a dreamy expression with large brown eyes and lips tinted a soft rose. A beautiful design and one of Eiho's most famous subjects. Detailed with delicate embossing in the side panels framing the opening and exquisite line work. A terrific example of Eiho's elegant work and great choice for display. Published in 1977 by Sodosha in Tokyo.
Artist - Eiho Hirezaki (1881 - 1970)
Image Size - 13 1/4" x 8 7/8" + margins as shown
Condition - Excellent with no issues to report.