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 Full Moon Coming with a Challenge - Terrific image of the otokodate Fukami Jikyu. Otokodate or "chivalrous men" were young men who took the law into their own hands, protecting townspeople from abuses and upholding justice. Often depicted as popular heroes, they frequently became no more than gangs. Here, Fukami Jikyu struts defiantly through the Yoshiwara pleasure district, his chin tilted upwards. He wears a magnificent matching black kimono and coat with a burnished checked pattern and colorful oversize flowers. Cherry petals drift delicately across the evening sky as misty dark clouds drift behind the full moon. A bold portrait and a beautiful Yoshitoshi design.
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. Backed with paper. Slight soiling. Please see photos for details. Nice overall.