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.
Akazome Emon Viewing the Moon - Wonderful print depicting Akazome Emon, a well-known noblewoman and poet of the Heian era. After a long night waiting restlessly for her lover to arrive, she composed this verse:
I wish I had gone to bed immediately
but now the night has passed
and I watch the moon descend
She peers anxiously out the doorway as the moon begins to set, disappointed at having stayed up all night and wishing she hand known that he was not coming. She wears a deeply embossed white robe, a red sash tied loosely around her waist and her long hair falling to the floor over her shoulders. A handsome composition, beautifully drawn and detailed, with burnishing on the black hardware on the doors.
Artist - Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
Image Size - 13" x 8 3/4" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Backed with paper. Small stain in subject. Please see photos for details. Good overall.