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.
Inamura Promontory Moon at Daybreak - Terrific, original Yoshitoshi image of Nitta no Yoshisada, a former general of the Hojo army and supporter of Emperor Go-Daigo. When Emperor Go-Daigo escaped from captivity, Yoshisada allied himself and raised an army to fight the Hojo clan, his former allies. As they marched on the Hojo stronghold in Kamakura, they found themselves trapped on a narrow stretch of sand, between high cliffs and Hojo boats full of archers. Yoshisada prayed to the gods of the sea and cast his sword into the water to show his sincerity. When the sun rose, the tide retreated out far, leaving a pathway along the sand towards Kamakura. Wonderful print with beautiful color and fine detail.
Artist - Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
Image Size - 12 7/8" x 8 1/2"
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Thinning areas, repaired. A couple notations on reverse. Print as shown, margins trimmed. Please see photos for details.