Suzaku Gate Moon

by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

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Suzaku Gate Moon by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

Original Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892) Japanese Woodblock Print
Suzaku Gate 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.

Suzaku Gate Moon - Wonderful night scene showing Minamoto no Hiromasa playing the flute with a stranger beneath the Suzakumon, a main gate near Kyoto. Trained by the blind master Semimaru, Hiromasa learned to play as well as his master. According to one story, upon hearing thieves breaking into his house, Hiromasa hid under the floorboards. The robbers took everything but a plain wooden flute. After they left, Hiromasa began to play the flute to settle his nerves. The thieves heard his music and were so moved by it that they returned all his valuables. Beautifully detailed with burnishing on the flutes and black court cap, delicate cloth embossing on the white pants, and bokashi shading on the background.

Artist - Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

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

Condition - A clean print with nice color and detail as shown. Backed with paper. Some soiling.

Suzaku Gate Moon by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
Suzaku Gate Moon by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)