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 of the Enemy's Lair - Fantastic Yoshitoshi portrait of Prince Usu, a warrior hero of early Japan, sneaking into an enemy's camp disguised as a woman. Wearing a kimono borrowed from his aunt, with his long hair combed down over his shoulders, the nobleman pulls aside the curtain with a smile, a sword hidden behind his back. According to legend, Prince Usu waited for the two enemy leaders to become drunk during a feast, then killed them both. At right, a torch burns in a stand, the smoke drifting across the curtain with the swirling pattern of the fabric visible in places. The moon glows in the night sky above the treetops at left. A nicely detailed design.
Artist - Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
Image Size - 12 7/8" x 8 5/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print excellent color and detail as shown. Please see photos for details.