Chang E Flees to the Moon

by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

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Chang E Flees to the Moon by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

Original Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892) Japanese Woodblock Print
Chang E Flees to 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.

Chang E Flees to the Moon - This print depicts the ancient myth of Chang E, the queen of the moon. Having stolen an elixir of life and fleeing into the night sky, she then took reign over the moon. An early explanation of lunar eclipses includes the story that Chang E attempts to swallow the moon; later on, the idea of swallowing the moon alludes to the Daoist metaphor for the unattainable. This is a beautiful print with rich and bright colors, the expressive face of Chang E and the billowing clouds and moon create a sense of movement.

Artist - Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

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

Condition - With excellent color and detail as shown. Backed with paper. Some soiling.

Chang E Flees to the Moon by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
Chang E Flees to the Moon by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)