Original Meiji era Japanese Woodblock Print
Wolf Attack 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 - Dramatic, gory kuchi-e depiction of two men fighting off three attacking wolves. The man at right has dispatched one of the animals with his sword, while his companion wields a tree branch as a weapon. At left, a snarling wolf leaps over a wounded animal as the man attempts to fight it off. Detailed with metallic silver pigment on the sword and the purple pants. The first time we've seen this kuchi-e subject.
Artist - Meiji era artist (not read)
Image Size - 8 1/8" x 10 5/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Vertical folds. Slight separation at end of fold, small loss at corner, repaired. Slight toning, soiling, and creasing. Please see photos for details.