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.
Mount Yoshino Midnight Moon - Terrific image of Lady Iga no Tsubone calmly confronting the winged ghost of Sasaki no Kiyotaka. An advisor to Emperor Go-Daigo, Kiyokata recommended attacking the threatening forces of the Ashikaga clan despite the enemy's superior numbers. The emperor's forces were soundly defeated at the Battle of Minatogawa, and Kiyokata was forced to commit suicide while Go-Daigo fled to Yoshino. At the new temporary Imperial Palace there, Kiyokata's ghost appeared nightly, haunting and cursing the court. His spirit would not rest until Lady Iga fearlessly approached it and appeased the ghost, who hovers in the air with a cadaverous blue-lipped grin, his eyes glowing yellow and his hand clutching the edge of the title cartouche like a claw. The moon appears in eclipse, adding to the atmospheric night setting. Beautifully detailed with fine line work in the hair and an embossed pattern on the beauty's white robe.
Artist - Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
Image Size - 8 3/4" x 13" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail. Backed with paper. Some soiling. Please see photos for details. Nice overall.