Original Toshikata (1866 - 1908) Japanese Woodblock Print
Beauty and Cat Kuchi-e Print, 1897
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 - Lovely kuchi-e illustration for the novel "Ren'ei Bijin" of a beauty relaxing with a book, holding it to her face as she leans back. She wears a blue kimono with white and darker blue cherry blossoms, tied with a brown print obi. Her hair is pulled up into a soft bun adorned with ribbons and ornaments. The room overlooks a beautiful view of a river or lake, with a cat lazing in the sun on the deck outside and a decorative blind partially rolled up. An attractive design with fine burnished detail in the hair and soft shading in the landscape setting.
Artist - Toshikata (1866 - 1908)
Image Size - 8 5/8" x 13 3/4"
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Vertical folds. Creasing, slight soiling, a few stains. Please see photos for details.