One Hundred Aspects of the Moon - Considered his masterwork, Yoshitoshi's series One Hundred Aspects of the Moon features one hundred oban size woodblocks, published between 1885 and 1892. These quiet and reflective prints, beautifully composed and drawn, feature subjects from traditional Japanese and Chinese history and legend, rendered with great sensitivity and emotion. The moon appears in all but a few prints, providing a unifying motif for the series.
Yoshitoshi's innovative designs for the Moon series are often elegantly spare, with simple backgrounds that focus attention on the human figure. He combines the western influences of realism and perspective with qualities from traditional Japanese and Chinese painting, such as the emphasis on calligraphic brushstroke. The figures are carefully drawn with beautiful linework, conveying a real sense of individual character, gesture, and emotion. Special printing techniques such as embossing and burnishing add a sumptuous touch where appropriate, but simple subjects are conveyed in a likewise manner, no less carefully observed.
Prints from the series were released singly or in groups every few months, with the final image completed shortly before Yoshitoshi's death. The series proved tremendously popular, with patrons lining up to purchase the new releases as soon as they became available. Today, One Hundred Aspects of the Moon remains Yoshitoshi's most well-known work, characterized by his artistry, compassion, and sensitivity in portraying the human experience.
Moon of the Pleasure Quarters - Lovely spring scene of a courtesan and her young kamuro or child apprentice in the Yoshiwara pleasure quarters, an area famous for its blossoming cherry trees. The girl pauses to look at the delicate petals drifting down across the evening sky beneath a glowing full moon touched with pink. The beauty directs her attention at the child, turning her face away from the viewer. She wears extremely high wooden geta clogs, clutching the edge of her grey kimono as the breeze swirls around her. A beautiful design, attractively colored.
Artist - Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
Image Size - 12 3/8" x 8"
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. A small spot. Please see photos for details.