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 - Wonderful kuchi-e illustration of a beauty sketching in a field. She wears a white and lavender patterned kimono tucked into hakama pants, a progressive fashion trend that allows her to sit decorously on the grass rather than kneel. She also uses a Western pencil to draw rather than a brush. Her hair is swept back into a bun adorned with a ribbon, and a blue umbrella trimmed with a floral design rests on the ground nearby. Soft, watercolor-like washes of color suggest leafy trees bordering a lake in the background. A very handsome design depicting a modern young woman of the Meiji era. This image appears on page 159 of Helen Merritt and Nanako Yamada's recent book, "Woodblock Kuchi-e Prints: Reflections of Meiji Culture."
Artist - Toshikata (1866 - 1908)
Image Size - 8 5/8" x 11 1/2" + right margin as shown
Condition - This print with nice color and detail as shown. Vertical folds. Small repair, spot. Please see photos for details.
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