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.
Joganden Moon - Handsome depiction of the famous 10th century archer Minamoto no Tsunemoto shooting down a deer. The title refers to a legendary incident when a demon in the form of a huge stag appeared on the rooftop of the Joganden, a wing of the Imperial Palace. As the animal prepared to leap down and attack the Emperor Shujaku, who was strolling in the gardens, Tsunemoto dispatched the monster with a single arrow between its eyes. Here, Tsunemoto kills not an evil demon but just an ordinary deer, suggesting that perhaps the tale had been exaggerated. The samurai's robes flutter about him in the evening breeze as maple leaves drift down through the sky below a glowing full moon. Nicely detailed with burnishing on the black court cap and faint silver mica pattern on the red under robe.
Artist - Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
Image Size - 8 3/4" x 12 7/8" + margins as shown
Condition - A clean print with nice color and detail as shown and full margins. Small repair, a few small spots. Please see photos for details.