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 Kintoki's Mountain - Great print illustrating the story of Kintaro, a baby abandoned by his parents at birth near Mount Fuji. He was raised by Yamauba, half-woman, half-spirit, who lived in the mountains where he was abandoned. Possessing superhuman strength, Kintaro grew up with animals as friends and in this scene, he referees a wrestling match between a monkey and a rabbit. Later, Kintaro was discovered by Minamoto no Yorimitsu, who took him to be his retainer, and he had many adventures as the samurai Sakata Kintoki. A charming design, beautifully detailed with embossing on the fur.
Artist - Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
Image Size - 13" x 8 3/4" + margins as shown
Condition - Nice color and printing quality. Some paper remnants on reverse. Good overall, see photos.