Original Sakata Kosetsu (1871 - 1935) Japanese Woodblock Print
Summer Child Kuchi-e Print, 1906
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 - Intriguing kuchi-e print from the novel "Summer Child" (Natsuko) of two men shaking hands as a beauty watches. The man at right wears a light colored suit, vest, and shirt with a bow tie, and a Panama hat. He holds a cane in one gloved hand, and a watch chain can be seen fastened to his vest. The woman sits on a plush covered bench, her hair pulled softly back into a bun. A valise rests on the bench nearby, with a small rack on the wall above, suggesting that they might be inside a first class cabin on a train. A fascinating image with wonderful detail and Western elements. The first time we've seen this kuchi-e subject.
Artist - Sakata Kosetsu (1871 - 1935)
Image Size - 8 1/2" x 11"
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Backed with paper. Vertical folds. Please see photos for details. Nice overall.