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.
Huai River Moon - Intriguing illustration from the life of Wu Zixu, a general in ancient China. The King of Chu killed the general's brother and father, so after the king finally died, Wu paid a fisherman to help him find the tomb along the Huai River. After locating the burial, Wu Zixu pulled the king's body from it and had it whipped three times to avenge his family. Here, the general makes his way through tall grasses and rushes, shielding his eyes with his hand as he encounters the fisherman sitting on the bank of the river, a fishing pole resting against his shoulder. A full moon glow yellow in the sky among drifting clouds. Nicely detailed with burnishing in Wu Ziux's black cap and armor.
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 with full margins. Backed with old album paper. Slight soiling at edge. Please see photos for details. Nice overall.