Itsukushima Moon

by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

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Itsukushima Moon by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

Original Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892) Japanese Woodblock Print
Itsukushima Moon

100 Aspects of the Moon (Tsuki hyakushi)

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.

Itsukushima Moon - Handsome image of a courtesan in a boat approaching the giant torii of the shrine at Itsukushima, which at high tide was partially submerged, giving it a floating appearance. The beauty is taking part in a festival dedicated to the Shinto deity Susano-o, the god of the moon and sea, enshrined on the island. A hand drum can be seen in the boat, suggesting that she will be playing music, and what looks like an umbrella is actually a traveling hat with a red veil to cover her face. The full moon glows yellow at top center, partially hidden by the wooden pillar, and waves splash against the side of the boat. A beautifully composed image.

Artist - Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

Image Size - 12 7/8" x8 3/4" + margins as shown

Condition - A clean print with nice color and detail as shown. Backed with paper. A few spots. Please see photos for details.

Itsukushima Moon by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
Itsukushima Moon by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)