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.
Moon through a Bamboo Lattice Window - Wonderful contemplative scene illustrating the story of Hidetsugu, adopted son of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a great military leader. Initially distinguishing himself in battle, Hidetsugu began to act irrationally, refusing to lead Hideyoshi's campaign to invade Korea and shooting arrows at passersby. After the birth of a true son to his adoptive father, Hidetsugu was exiled to a temple on Mount Kora. He is shown there in quiet meditation, his head bowed and hands clasped. A retainer sits in a similar position in the room at left, a full moon glowing outside the bamboo bars of the window. An interesting subject, beautifully detailed with fine embossing in the white robe.
Artist - Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
Image Size - 13" x 8 3/4" + margins as shown
Condition - Nice color and printing quality. Nice large margins, as shown. Backed with paper from previous folio inclusion. Slight soiling. Good overall, see photos.