Reading by the Moon

by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

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Reading by the Moon by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

Original Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892) Japanese Woodblock Print
Reading by the 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.

Reading by the Moon - Quiet, meditative depiction of Zi Lou, a disciple of Confucius. Zi Lou was one of China's "Twenty-four Paragons of Filial Piety." Born to a poor family and self-educated, Zi Lou carried large bags of food over long distances to his parents, securing his status as a paragon of filial piety. Here he is shown reading by the light of a full moon as he patiently trudges along in tattered clothing, a heavy bag of rice over his shoulder. Beautiful print with soft color and wonderful detail, including delicate embossing in the cloth bag and fine bokashi shading.

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.

Reading by the Moon by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
Reading by the Moon by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)