The Moon of the Milky Way

by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

Current Status

The Moon of the Milky Way by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

Original Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892) Japanese Woodblock Print
The Moon of the Milky Way

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.

The Moon of the Milky Way - This is a fantastic image from the famous story that is the basis for the Tanabata festival in Japan. Yoshitoshi's illustration shows the evening when the constellations of the Weaver Maiden and Herdsboy cross in the sky and meet briefly. Here the lovers stand on banks of clouds. Yoshitoshi shows them in human from staring into each other's eyes for the brief moment before they separate not to meet again for a year. This is a great print.

Artist - Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

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

Condition - With excellent color and detail as shown. Some soiling and fraying at edges. A few light spots. Please see photos for details. Nice overall.

The Moon of the Milky Way by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
The Moon of the Milky Way by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

Auction Rules and guidelines

This Auction Falls Under Our Standard Auction Rules and Guidelines

If you are a new bidder, please read the Rules and Guidelines page before bidding.