Collections: Asian Art: Double-sided Key Block for Ukiyo-e Print

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    2002.119.15a_bw.jpg 2002.119.15b_bw.jpg

    Double-sided Key Block for Ukiyo-e Print

    This carving served as the key block, the first one made by the carver, based on Kunisada’s original drawing. It provides the basic outlines of the design. The key block was used to make a number of simple black impressions that served as guides for the carving of all subsequent blocks. The print made by this carving was the mirror image of what we see here, so all of the text on the block is in reverse. This block is actually signed by its carver, Asai Ginjir? (1844–1894). There was no general policy with regard to carvers signing their work, but such signatures are definitely in the minority.

    • Artists: Utagawa Toyokuni III (Kunisada) (side a), Japanese, 1786-1864; Eisen Keisai (side b), Japanese, 1790-1848
    • Medium: Cherry wood
    • Place Made: Japan
    • Dates: ca. 1830
    • Period: Edo Period
    • Dimensions: 15 1/2 x 10 1/8 x 3/8 in. (39.4 x 25.7 x 1 cm)  (show scale)
    • Collections:Asian Art
    • Museum Location: This item is not on view
    • Accession Number: 2002.119.15a-b
    • Credit Line: Gift of Dr. Alvin E. Friedman-Kien
    • Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
    • Caption: Utagawa Toyokuni III (Kunisada) (side a) (Japanese, 1786-1864). Double-sided Key Block for Ukiyo-e Print, ca. 1830. Cherry wood, 15 1/2 x 10 1/8 x 3/8 in. (39.4 x 25.7 x 1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Dr. Alvin E. Friedman-Kien, 2002.119.15a-b. Creative Commons-BY
    • Image: side, a, 2002.119.15a_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    • Catalogue Description: Side a: Toyokuni III (Kunisada) Three Women Musicians On a Balcony. A woodblock for ukiyo-e print of an autumn scene of women playing shamisen and biwa (musical instruments) with an attendant who carries tray with tea cup. Condition: Very good. Wood is stained black from ink used in printing. Side b: Keisai 18 Tokyo cuisine style dishes. (Tokyo ryori jyuuhachi sakana) Name of place: Sumiyoshi cho… (incomplete) The other name of place: Honya bakuro (bakuro) four Carver's name: Cho-ei Keyblock for outline of ukiyo-e print showing two women in a restaurant, holding papers in their hands. Condition: Few tiny breaks in outline. Old break (stable) at upper left.
    • Record Completeness: Best (86%)
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