The Courtesan Takao

by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

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The Courtesan Takao by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

Original Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892) Japanese Woodblock Print
The Courtesan Takao

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.

The Courtesan Takao - Charming portrait of the famous beauty and courtesan Takao, with a full moon glowing at upper left, the edge softly shaded in pink. Her outer kimono features a colorful tie-dyed leaf and calligraphy pattern popular during the Genroku period (1688-1704), when the courtesan quarters of Japan held a great sway over the public's imagination. Beautifully detailed with delicate allover embossing in the background. A lovely design with attractive color.

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. Slight soiling. A couple spots. Please see photos for details. Good overall.

The Courtesan Takao by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
The Courtesan Takao by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)