ALMOST AUTUMN (Takeuchi Keishu)

N.1 kuchi-e woodblock print
Year: 1913
Condition: good
Size: 22 x 29,5 cm



Refined original woodblock print of the kuchi-e (口絵) type, entitled “Akidonari” (秋どなり), that is “Almost Autumn”, depicting a young woman next to a sudare (簾) blind and made in September 1913 by the artist Takeuchi Keishu (武内桂舟) as frontispiece of vol. 19 n. 12 of the famous literary magazine Bungei Kurabu (文芸倶楽部).

Takeuchi Keishu (1861-1943), the second son of a retainer of the daimyo of the Kishu Domain (紀州藩), began his artistic training by studying the painting techniques of the Kano School (狩野派) but, because of the chaos in the country, he could not pursue his studies and started working as a porcelain painter. It is unclear what year he turned to woodblock printed illustrations: at some point, however, he became a student of the famous Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (月岡芳年). In 1887 he joined Kenyusha (硯友社), the first writers’ society of modern Japan, and designed frontispieces for the novels of many of its members, bringing freshness and originality to this specific genre.

The print on Japanese washi paper (和紙), produced by the Hakubunkan (博文館) publishing house, despite some imperfections on the margins as well as signs of folding, is in overall good condition.