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 - Interesting kuchi-e print by Keishu that was the frontispiece for the literary magazine "Bungei Kurabu." The story is about a merchant named Wankyu whose love for the courtesan Matsuyama drives him to madness. At right, a potter inspects a kiln while the inset at left shows a courtesan in colorful robes. An intriguing subject, nicely detailed.
Artist - Takeuchi Keishu (1847 - 1915)
Image Size - 8" x 11 1/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with good detail as shown. Backed with paper. Vertical folds, a few creases. Please see photos for details.
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