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.
Inaba Mountain Moon - Incredible, dramatic night scene showing Toyotomi Hideyoshi bravely climbing a cliff to sneak into the Saito clan's castle at Gifu. He and his men carried water gourds on their backs, and once inside the fortress, raised the gourds on bamboo poles to signal the outside troops to attack. The daring plan to take the castle was successful due to Hideyoshi's ingenuity and courage, and the gourd became his symbol. Here, a full moon rises below, silhouetting the susuki grasses as the warrior clings to the rocks. Beautifully composed, colored, and shaded. A dynamic design and a must-have for those interested in Yoshitoshi's prints.
Artist - Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
Image Size - 13" x 8 7/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Slight thinning at corner, repaired. A few creases at edges and small spots, faint stain in margin. Please see photos for details.