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 Pure Snow at Asano River - Dramatic scene based on the true story of the beauty, Chikako. After her beloved father was thrown into prison, she prayed for his release, and to demonstrate her sincerity, she committed suicide by jumping into the Asano River on a snowy night. She falls through the air with a distraught expression on her face, her hands clasped together in prayer as her robes flutter around her. Two startled egrets take flight and a full moon rises above the horizon. A poignant image, beautifully drawn, with the bright colors of her kimono and obi contrasting with the muted wintry tones of the rest of the scene. An incredible design, definitely one of the best of Yoshitoshi's career.
Artist - Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
Image Size - 12 7/8" x 8 3/4" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Backed with paper. Slight toning, a few spots and marks. Please see photos for details.