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.
Hazy-night Moon - One of the series masterworks, this great design illustrates the ghost of the renegade priest Kumasaka Chohan, who was killed during a thwarted attempt to steal from a gold merchant at an inn in Akasaka. The ghost began to appear to a Buddhist priest in the Akasaka area. In this dramatic design, the ghost strikes a fierce pose with his feet spread firmly apart, a naginata in his hand. He wears a cloth priest's headdress, and colorful patterned robes, his red and yellow pants boldly patterned with thunderbolts. The background is shaded from deep blue to lighter blue, providing a dramatic contrast to the figure. Beautifully detailed with embossing in the white cloth sash and a subtle burnished pattern in the light brown robe. A terrific print from the 100 Moon series and a piece highly sought after by collectors.
Artist - Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
Image Size - 12 7/8" x 8 5/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Slight soiling. Please see photos for details. Nice overall.