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 - Interesting kuchi-e design of a beauty just stepping out of a palanquin, the reed blind coverings draped over the top of the center pole behind her. She wears a pale blue kimono patterned with colorful cherry blossoms, tied with a black obi featuring circular motifs. The bamboo in the background is rendered in soft washes of gray, focusing all attention on the beauty, who seems in a hurry, a rather concerned expression on her face. Beautifully detailed with burnishing in the obi.
Artist - Toshikata (1866 - 1908)
Image Size - 8 3/8" x 11 1/2"
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Slight paper remnants on reverse at corners from previous mounting. Vertical folds. Slight toning and soiling, a few creases. Please see photos for details.
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