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.
Moonlight Patrol - Fantastic scene from the Japanese civil war of the 16th century. In this print, Saito Toshimitsu, one of Akechi Mitsuhide's samurai, surveys the horizon on horseback as his mount stands in shallow water, a full moon glowing above. Toshimitsu tried to persuade the treacherous Mitsuhide not to attack their former ally Oda Nobunaga at Honnonji Temple in Kyoto, but he failed to change his lord's mind. However, as a loyal retainer of Mitsuhide, he had to take part in the attack on Nobunaga's headquarters despite his own feelings. A striking composition with an unusual low vantage point, creating a dramatic design. Beautifully colored and detailed.
Artist - Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
Image Size - 12 1/2" x 8 3/4"
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Backed with thin paper. A couple notations on reverse. Print as shown, margins trimmed. Please see photos for details.