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.
Saga Moor Moon - Great image depicting the story of Kogo no Tsubone, a beautiful koto player in the court of Emperor Takakura. After the emperor became infatuated with her, she fled the court to escape the wrath of the empress' father. The search for her was unsuccessful until a court accompanist found her hiding in a country house in Saga. Here, the accompanist stands beside his horse playing the flute as the beauty plays the koto inside the rustic home at right. A full moon glows high above, with trees silhouetted against the evening sky and autumn grasses and blossoms below. Includes burnishing in the black court cap and saddle. A charming design from this famous tale.
Artist - Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
Image Size - 13" x 8 3/4" + margins as shown
Condition - Nice color and printing quality. Backed with paper from previous folio inclusion. Slight soiling. Good overall, see photos.