100 Aspects of the Moon (Tsuki hyakushi)
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.
The Cry of the Fox - In ancient Japan, foxes were magical creatures that liked to play tricks and could transform into humans. This illustration depicts the kyogen or comic play "Konkai" (The Cry of the Fox). In the drama, an elderly priest visits his nephew, extolling the virtues of foxes and the evil of killing them. The nephew is almost convinced to stop hunting foxes, but after the priest leaves, he hears the cry of a fox and realizes that the priest was actually a fox in disguise. Here, the fox returns to his animal form, his face changed back and his bushy tail extending beneath his dark gray robe, giving him a strangely rounded shape. Susuki grasses with delicately embossed seed heads frame the dark night sky, the shapes suggesting foxfires, magical flames that appear beside foxes or supernatural beings. A crescent moon glows softly yellow in the night sky. This Yoshitoshi image is an incredible work of art and a woodblock masterpiece. A great subject for a collector.
Artist - Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
Image Size - 8 3/4" x 13" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Backed with paper. A small hole, repaired. Please see photos for details. Very nice overall.