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.
Horin Temple Moon - Poignant image of the Heian era beauty Yokobue, who had fallen in love with a young palace guard. His parents rejected the match, and the guard fled to Horin Temple to become a monk, taking the name, Ajo. Yokobue arrived at the temple on an autumn night, asking for her sweetheart. Fearing that seeing her would cause him to give up the monastic life, Ajo sent a messenger to say that there was no one there by that name. Here, she covers her eyes with her clasped hands as she weeps, the wind blowing her robes about her, the autumn grasses swaying in the breeze behind her. Dark clouds drift across the full moon, and the silhouettes of two intertwined pines, symbolizing wedded happiness and fidelity, appear in the distance. A beautifully detailed image with delicate cloth embossing on the white robe and fine bokashi shading in the background.
Artist - Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
Image Size - 12 7/8" x 8 3/4" + margins as shown
Condition - Very nice color and printing quality. Backed with paper. Some soiling and a few stains. Good overall, see photos for details.