Shadows of the Pine Branches

by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

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Shadows of the Pine Branches by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

Original Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892) Japanese Woodblock Print
Shadows of the Pine Branches

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.

Shadows of the Pine Branches - Lovely Yoshitoshi portrait of a courtesan relaxing at night in a teahouse, lying on the floor with a fan in hand. The moonlight casts shadows of pine branches on the floor, and she smiles as she watches them. Behind her, a furo or portable brazier used to heat water for tea sits next to an elegant screen patterned with a maple tree with red leaves falling over a river with delicate stylized waves. A beautiful design that pays homage to the great ukiyo-e master Utamaro, through the subject and the luxurious setting, the beauty's hairstyle, which was popular during Utamaro's time, and the handling of the lamplight through the fine bamboo screen at right. Includes embossing on the fan and burnishing on the brazier at left.

Artist - Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

Image Size - 13" x 8 3/4" + margins as shown

Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Backed with paper. Slight soiling. Slight thinning on left side, repaired. Please see photos for details.

Shadows of the Pine Branches by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
Shadows of the Pine Branches by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)