Object 19

Tomioka EISEN (1864-1905)
Young women staring at the full Moon (a kuchi-e)
Xylography, ink and colours on paper, around 1900
Royal Museums for Art and History
Inv. JP.6156 (legacy Ch. Lefébure, 1943)

Kuchi-e were prints made for inclusion in a novel, particularly in the period 1890-1910. In the process, they were folded twice. The task of the artist designing the kuchi-e was to express the essence of the novel as much as possible.
Kuchi-e were produced in the same way as traditional Japanese wood carvings, but can hardly be distinguished from a watercolour. This is because of the use of a specific technique in kuchi-e called sashiage: a sample print was made of the lines in black, just like in traditional prints, but instead of just noting the colours the artist coloured the entire drawing himself, in great detail and by hand. This was then analysed by the block carver in order to carve the different colour blocks, taking into account the most subtle of colour nuances.  Finally, the printer used the original to make a really close printed reproduction.

Kogaratsu : Sous le regard de la lune / Onder het oog van de maan
Sc : Bosse
Dupuis, 1999


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