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 print of a beauty reading a poem slip by the light of a lantern hanging in a blossoming plum tree. She presses one kimono sleeve to her chin as she reads, the sky darkening around her as evening falls. A beautiful design embellished with touches of silver mica in the kimono and obi. A lovely illustration for the novel "Toka no Eibai."
Artist - Toshikata (1866 - 1908)
Image Size - 11 1/4" x 8 1/2" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Horizontal folds. Backed with paper. Some thinning, repaired. Please see photos for details. Good overall.
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