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 - Unusual kuchi-e illustration of a beauty serenading a man, playing a violin as she stands beneath his window. She wears the latest Western fashions, including a bustled dress and a floppy hat with ribbons blowing in the evening breeze. The man looks down with a sober expression as he leans over the railing. The first time we've see this subject.
Artist - Tomioka Eisen (1864 - 1905)
Image Size - 11 1/2" x 8 1/4" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent detail as shown. Horizontal folds. Wrinkling throughout, slight toning, soiling, a few stains. Please see photos for details.
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