Outdoor Sketch (keyblock proof)
(Bijin no kogai Shasei)
kuchi-e (frontispiece) with artist's seal Toshikata; published by Bungei Kurabu (popular literary magazine), illustration for a novel in vol. 9, no. 9, ca. 1903
9 3/4 by 13 7/8 in., 24.7 by 35.1 cm
Keyblock proofs were produced for multiple purposes: in traditional woodblock print production the black outline proofs were likely used to actually make the color blocks- subsequently destroying the proof while carving the block. As such, keyblock proofs from the 18th and 19th century are relatively unusual, and often those that have survived are from obscure designs that never made into production. However, by the 20th century, collectors became more appreciative of all of the nuances of woodblock print production, and occasionally keyblock proofs (or cancelled keyblock proofs) were made available to sell along with the prints themselves. At the same time, the process of developing a print for production had changed somewhat: prints were often based on completed paintings, as opposed to designs made expressly for woodblock prints.
Helen Merritt & Nanako Yamada, Woodblock Kuchi-e Prints: Reflections of Meiji Culture, 2000, p. 159, no. 6.19
Nanako Yamada, Mokuhan Kuchi-e (Survey of Woodblock Kuchi-e Prints), 2006, p. 348
Scholten Japanese Art is open Monday - Friday, and some Saturdays by appointment only
Contact Katherine Martin at
(212) 585-0474 or email
to schedule a visit between 11am and 4pm for no more than two individuals at a time.
In order to adhere to New York State guidelines visitors are asked to wear face masks and practice social distancing.
site last updated
August 5, 2020
Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475
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