Original Meiji era Japanese Woodblock Print
Heian Era Beauty 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 - Interesting kuchi-e illustration featuring a Heian era beauty on a folded fan-shaped inset against a snowy landscape. The beauty smiles over her shoulder as she raises one sleeve above her head. She wears a white tunic decorated with dandelions over a purple print robe, and long red orange pants. Her hair falls loosely over her shoulders and she has the "moth's wing" eyebrows popular at the time. In the background at left, a man wearing a uniform cap waits outside a garden gate. Beautifully detailed with delicate cloth embossing on the white tunic and silver mica waves on the blue background of the fan.
Artist - Meiji era artist (not read)
Image Size - 8 3/8" x 11 1/4"
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Backed with paper. Vertical folds. A few small wormholes, repaired. Slight toning and soiling, a few spots. Please see photos for details.