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 Above the Sea at Daimotsu Bay - Fantastic image of the warrior monk Benkei standing in the prow of his ship, reciting prayers to calm the sudden storm in Daimotsu Bay caused by the enemies of Benkei's master, Yoshitsune. After his defeat by Yoshitsune at the Battle of Dan-no-ura, Taira no Tomomori committed suicide by tying himself to an anchor and leaping into the sea, followed by many of his retainers. His ghostly forces returned to haunt Yoshitsune, and here an enormous wave crests just above the ship as ominous clouds drift across the face of the glowing yellow full moon. An incredibly dramatic design, detailed with a dusting of mica across the dark waves.
Artist - Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
Image Size - 8 5/8" x 12 7/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail. Backed with stiff paper. Some toning and staining at edges. Please see photos for details. Good overall.