Gravemarker Moon

by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

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Gravemarker Moon  by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

Original Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892) Japanese Woodblock Print
Gravemarker Moon

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.

Gravemarker Moon - Lovely Yoshitoshi print depicting Ono no Komachi, a famous Heian era beauty and poetess. The subject of many Noh plays, in this scene Komachi is shown as an elderly woman sitting atop a fallen gravemarker, contemplating her life. Her kimono is made of a patchwork of fabrics, the white areas delicately embossed with a geometric pattern, and her straw hat hangs in tatters at her back, suggesting her impoverishment in old age. A crescent moon glows high above, and tall autumn grasses frame the cloudy night sky. A fine, reflective scene, nicely detailed and softly shaded.

Artist - Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

Image Size - 13" x 8 3/4" + margins as shown

Condition - This print with excellent color and detail. Backed with stiff paper. Some toning and staining at edges. Please see photos for details. Good overall.

Gravemarker Moon  by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
Gravemarker Moon  by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)