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.
Mountain Moon after Rain - Terrific illustration from the true story of the Soga Brothers, two young samurai intent on avenging the death of their father. Yoshitoshi depicts Soga Goro Tokimune in the moments just before their plan for revenge will be set into action, gripping his sword in hand as he spies a cuckoo flying past the crescent moon above. In Japanese folklore, the cuckoo calls spirits into the next world, foreshadowing the fate of the brave warrior. The softly shaded background focuses all intentions on the figure of Goro and the bird winging past the sliver of moon. A beautiful and poignant portrait of this famous hero, detailed with touches of burnishing on the armor, and handsome wood grain impression 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 with full margins. Slight toning, a couple small spots. Please see photos for details. Nice overall.