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 - Charming kuchi-e illustration for the novel "Haru mizu" (Spring Water). A young woman kneels next to a flowing river, a wooden tub of laundry in her hands. A spring breeze blows the towel around her neck, the edge caught between her teeth. A flowering cherry tree branch is tucked atop the pile of laundry, and a few petals drift through the air and float along with the current. The colorful figure contrasts nicely with the subdued tones of the background. A lovely design.
Artist - Toshimine (1863 - 1934)
Image Size - 11 1/4" x 8 1/2"
Condition - This print with excellent detail as shown. Horizontal fold. Light toning. Please see photos for details.
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