Original Ikeda Shoen (1884 - 1917) Japanese Woodblock Print
March 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 book, "Woodblock Kuchi-e Prints: Reflections of Meiji Culture." Kuchi-e prints have become highly sought after and collected by the serious collector.
Comments - Charming kuchi-e portrait of a beauty looking wistfully over her shoulder as she pats the side of her face with her hand beneath the white collar of her red under robe. She wears a boldly patterned outer robe lined with plum over a pink and white tie-dyed kimono, tied with a green obi. Her hair is pulled back at the top and adorned with a large comb, a white ribbon, and a hairpin, the rest falling loosely over her shoulders. An attractive design for the novel "Yayoi" (March) in "Bungei Kurabu" (Literary Club) magazine.
Artist - Ikeda Shoen (1884 - 1917)
Image Size - 11 5/8" x 8 1/8"
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Horizontal folds. A few small holes, a couple small tears at edges, repaired. Creasing, slight toning and soiling, a few spots, diagonal fold. Please see photos for details.