by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
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.
Moon of Pure Snow at Asano River - This print is considered one of the best of the series. Chikako, desperate to win the release of he beloved father from prison, commits suicide by jumping into the Asano river on a snowy night. This print illustrates a true story of devotion and tragedy from 19th century Japan. Yoshitoshi's design is captivating. The strong colors of her robes contrast with the wintry white of the rest of the scene. The birds in flight are beautifully drawn as are the girl's robes and obi. An incredible print, definitely one of the best of Yoshitoshi's career.
Artist - Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
Image Size - 8 7/8" x 13" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. A couple minor creases. Some toning and spotting, minor spotting in upper left corner. Please see photos for details. Nice overall.