Original Toshikata (1866 - 1908) Japanese Woodblock Print
Beauty in an Iris Garden Kuchi-e Print
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 typcially have one or two vertical folds, because of their insertion in a magazine or book as an illustrative print.
Much interest has been generated in the subject since the publication in 2000 of Helen Merritt and Nanako Yamada's groundbreaking book, "Woodblock Kuchi-e Prints: Reflections of Meiji Culture." Kuchi-e prints have become highly sought after and collected by the serious collector.
Comments - Lovely kuchi-e illustration of a beauty at a tea stand in an iris garden. She rests one hand against a wooden pillar as she looks out over the garden, the water's edge framed by slender green leaves and delicate purple and blue irises. She wears a blue striped kimono tied with an orange obi patterned with silver mica that has oxidized to a darker tone, her long sleeve tucked up under one arm. Beautifully detailed with burnishing on the hair, and fine line work. An attractive subject.
Artist - Toshikata (1866 - 1908)
Image Size - 8 1/2" x 11 3/4" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Vertical folds. Stitching holes at right edge, repaired. Slight soiling at edge, a few creases. Please see photos for details.