婦人と傘 (Woman with Umbrella)
Description: This print is a reproduction of a type knows as kuchi-e (frontispiece), and dates from 1905. It was created by the famous designer Tomioka Eisen, on commission from the company publishing the magazine ‘Bungei Kurabu’, in which it appeared that year. Most of the kuchi-e were illustrations of an episode or scene from one of the stories in the magazine. This lady seems fairly mysterious - perhaps there is quite a good story waiting to be discovered byh some researcher!
These Meiji-era kuchi-e are products of the era right at the changeover between traditional printing methods and the printing press. The pages of the magazines were set in type and printed on presses, but the frontispieces were made with the old methods. Those carvers and printers - who were facing the total extinction of their trade - must have been very grateful to get these jobs, and it shows. The prints are absolutely magnificent, with extremely fine detail and a very large number of impressions on each design.
This one took our printer more than 21 impressions to complete, each one of these of course being perfectly registered. We are not aware of any other publisher these days daring to try to reproduce prints of this complexity, and are very proud of these prints.
It has been over a hundred years since the original was issued, and we hope you will enjoy our version for at least that long!
Here are a few closeups:
Here and there on the print we have used metallic powders in imitation of the gold and silver threads on the fabric.
The white snowflakes are created with 'gofun' powder (crushed shells) applied on a block with glue
The seal and signature of the original are carved into our blocks ...
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