The Yugao Chapter from 'The Tale of Genji'

by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

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The Yugao Chapter from 'The Tale of Genji' by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

Original Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892) Japanese Woodblock Print
The Yugao Chapter from 'The Tale of Genji'

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 Yugao Chapter from 'The Tale of Genji' - This incredible ghost image is one of the great masterpieces of Yoshitoshi's career and a series favorite. The print depicts the ghost of one of Genji's most mysterious and alluring loves- a woman he called Yugao (after the flowers) as she wouldn't tell him her name. The jealous spirit of one of Genji's former mistresses killed her. Here she floats through the image, a classic ghost depiction, and a flowering vine wraps around the figure and twists through the print. The full moon shines overhead.

Yoshitoshi's design is captivating. From the ghostly figure in muted tones to the twisting blooming vines, the print draws the viewer in. A fantastic opportunity to collect one of Yoshitoshi's true masterworks. This beautiful ghost print from the 100 Moon series is an outstanding Yoshitoshi design. It was the cover illustration for the Stevenson book on the 100 Moon series. Without question, this is one the greatest Japanese print images of all time.

Artist - Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

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

Condition - With excellent color and detail. Some light toning. Please see photos for details. Excellent overall.

The Yugao Chapter from 'The Tale of Genji' by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
The Yugao Chapter from 'The Tale of Genji' by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)