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 - Handsome kuchi-e portrait of a Heian era poet, leaning back with a brush in one hand a sheaf of paper in the other as he composes a verse. He wears a blue and white diamond print robe edged with a dark metallic silver band over pale lavender pants decorated with delicate leaves, and a tall court cap. A panel at upper left shows two women on a verandah with fine reed blinds hanging overhead, the sky a shimmering metallic silver. An intriguing subject, beautifully detailed.
Artist - Meiji era artist (not read)
Image Size - 11 1/2" x 8 5/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Horizontal and diagonal folds. Tiny hole, repaired. Creasing, slight toning, soiling, and offsetting. Please see photos for details.
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