Original Eisen Tomioka (1864 - 1905) Japanese Woodblock Print
Beauty after a Bath 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 of 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 always have two folds, because of their insertion in a magazine or book as an illustrative print.A previously neglected genre of Japanese woodblock art, 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 - Absolutely terrific kuchi-e portrait of a beauty after a bath, gently drying the side of her face with sleeve of her kimono. The cotton robe features an unusual pattern of blue bats in flight and soft blue-gray clouds. Her hair is arranged with a several hairpins and combs, a few loose wisps framing her face. A large full moon glows softly in the evening sky, which is delicately shaded in palest gray. Beautifully drawn with fine line work in the lovely, expressive face and hair.
Artist - Eisen Tomioka (1864 - 1905)
Image Size - 12 1/4” x 8 3/4”
I’d like to note that the to combs on the side of her head and also the one on her left hand side are actually combs used for styling the hair nand not for ornamentation. They are specifically Bingushi. The one on top of her is a kushi. Her yukata has a bat pattern. Bats are symbols for good luck. the caracter for bat in Chinese is very close to the character for luck.- TSM