Original Tomioka Eisen (1864 - 1905) Japanese Woodblock Print
Threatening an Artist 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 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 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 - Intriguing kuchi-e illustration for the novel "Datsou-Hoi." At left, a samurai threatens a painter sitting on a straw mat, kicking at him. The artist recoils, raising his hand in defense, knocking over a shallow bowl of paint. The image at right shows a distraught beauty leaning forward, obviously agitated and worried. She wears a blue kimono with a gray and white geometric inset, tied with a plum colored obi. A morning glory vine with a bright pink blossom frames the design. An interesting subject with burnishing in the beauty's hair.
Artist - Tomioka Eisen (1864 - 1905)
Image Size - 8 1/2" x 11"
Condition - This print with excellent color and good detail as shown. Horizontal folds. A few creases. Please see photos for details.