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 hanging a garland with miniature international flags in preparation for a celebration. A portrait of the Meiji Emperor hangs at right, with a string of tiny paper lanterns featuring the Japanese sun symbol draped before it. She looks down with a solemn expression, absorbed in her task. A low table behind her holds trays of pink and white sweets, flanked by vases of white blossoms. Beautifully detailed with touches of silver mica on the beauty's soft blue kimono and the picture frame. A great image for the novel "Bankou-ki" (Flags of All Nations).
Artist - Toshikata (1866 - 1908)
Image Size - 12" x 8 3/4" + top margin as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Horizontal folds, diagonal fold at corner. Toning, a few creases at edges. Please see photos for details.
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