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 scene of a beauty using a feather duster to clean wooden boxes. Her hair is protectively draped in a pale blue towel, the sleeves of striped kimono tied back with a narrow red sash. A large parcel leans up against a wall behind her, wrapped in orange cloth and tied with rope. An interesting portrait of a beauty absorbed in her daily work, nicely shaded.
Artist - Tomioka Eisen (1790 - 1848)
Image Size - 8 3/8" x 11 1/4" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Vertical folds. Slight toning, a few spots. Please see photos for details.