Artist: Utagawa Kunisada (歌川国貞) / Toyokuni III (三代豊国)

Print: Keyblock for Lyon Collection proof print #1516

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Dates: circa 1820,created
Dimensions: Overall dimensions

Signed in reverse: Gototei Kunisada ga
Censor seal - also in reverse: kiwame

Related links: Keyblock print made from this block;

Physical description:

To fully appreciate the significance of this particular keyblock, you should click on the image to enlarge it because that way you will be able to studied more closely how the area of the courtesan's head has been replaced by a different block of wood. This could have been for a number of reasons: 1) the old block might have worn down through printing and thus the fine lines of the hair and face might have been lost; or 2) if this is an image of an actor in a female role, but a new actor had been brought in then a new block portraying the face needed to be cut; or 3) if the hairstyle had changed since the original block had been carved. There are other possible reasons, but those are probably the three most common usages.

The term for a replacement block is an 'ireki' (入れ木).