An Iron Cauldron and the Moon at Night

by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

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An Iron Cauldron and the Moon at Night  by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

Original Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892) Japanese Woodblock Print
An Iron Cauldron and the Moon at Night

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.

An Iron Cauldron and the Moon at Night - Comic depiction of two bumbling townsmen, Kofuno no Gengo and Koshi Hanzo, trying to steal a huge iron cooking pot. Seemingly unaware of the full moon illuminating their scheme, the pair begins banging and sawing at the pot as if they could break it into smaller, more easily concealed pieces. Yoshitoshi caricatures the figures with wild expressions and with exaggerated poses to emphasize the humor of the situation. An amusing illustration, with skillful carving in printing of the brushstrokes in the sky and the cauldron.

Artist - Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

Image Size - 13" x 8 3/4" + margins as shown

Condition - Nice color and printing quality. Backed with paper. Slight soiling. Several small spots. Good overall, see photos.

An Iron Cauldron and the Moon at Night  by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
An Iron Cauldron and the Moon at Night  by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)