Theater District Dawn Moon

by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

Current Status

Theater District Dawn Moon by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

Original Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892) Japanese Woodblock Print
Theater District Dawn Moon

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.

Theater District Dawn Moon - Handsome depiction of dawn in Shibaimachi, the theater district in Edo. In the foreground, a young woman in a fine kimono hurries home, the moon still in the sky and the horizon beginning to glow with the warmth of the rising sun. She wears a blue kimono patterned with delicate pink and white flowers over a red under robe, tied with a black brocade obi. Her hair is pulled back into a smooth knot with a simple ornament, and she wears fashionable red lipstick that takes on a green tone when applied more thickly, giving the appearance of two colors. Clouds drift across the early morning scene, with the silhouettes of people in the street behind her. Nicely detailed with fine line work in the hair, embossing on the white kimono trim, and fine bokashi shading in the background.

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. Nicely printed and clean with full margins. Backed with old album paper. A few spots, paper strip at left edge from previous album inclusion. Please see photos for details. Good overall.

Theater District Dawn Moon by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
Theater District Dawn Moon by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)