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 scene from the novel "Rainy Autumn" (Uki Aki) of an unhappy young beauty anxiously biting her kimono sleeve. She looks down, lost in her own painful thoughts as an older woman tries to console her, leaning forward as she speaks, a slender pipe in hand. The beauty wears a tan kimono patterned with maple leaves, tied with a bright red obi. Attractively detailed with delicate burnishing on the beauty's hair, the black areas of her obi, and her black kimono trim.
Artist - Tomioka Eisen (1864 - 1905)
Image Size - 8 7/8" x 11 3/4"
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Vertical folds. Toning, slight soiling and offsetting, a few creases at edges and marks. Please see photos for details.
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