Seson Temple Moon

by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

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Seson Temple Moon by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

Original Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892) Japanese Woodblock Print
Seson Temple 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.

Seson Temple Moon - Tranquil portrait of the tenth-century nobleman Fujiwara no Yoshitaka meditating at Seson Temple near Kyoto. A brilliant poet, Yoshitaka eventually gave it up to focus on his Buddhist studies and not surpass the works of his brother, Agechika. He stands beneath a tree, enveloped in his voluminous court robes, a burnished black court cap on his head. A full yellow moon rises above the mountain in the distance beneath the early evening sky. Sadly, he died at the age of twenty-one during a smallpox epidemic. A poignant image of this young man. Includes burnishing on the black court cap and a silver mica pattern on the purple pants.

Artist - Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

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

Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Backed with paper. Slight soiling. Please see photos for details.

Seson Temple Moon by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
Seson Temple Moon by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)