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 - Attractive kuchi-e image of a beauty leaning against a plum tree, resting her chin on her hand, lost in thought. She wears a light gray kimono tied with a darker gray obi decorated with light silver mica flowers that reverses to a red and white pattern. The tree is dotted with buds and beautifully drawn with calligraphic line work. Nicely detailed with burnishing on the hair and additional silver mica on the hair ornament. A rarely seen kuchi-e design.
Artist - Toshikata (1866 - 1908)
Image Size - 8 1/8" x 11 3/8" + top margin as shown
Condition - This print with nice color and detail as shown. Backed with somewhat stiff paper. Folds. Some prints have wrinkling or a few spots. Please see photos for details.
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