Moon of the Filial Son

by Yoshitoshi (active circa 1840 - 1880)

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Moon of the Filial Son by Yoshitoshi (active circa 1840 - 1880)

Original Yoshitoshi (active circa 1840 - 1880) Japanese Woodblock Print
Moon of the Filial Son

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.

Moon of the Filial Son - Great portrait of Ceng Shen, a disciple of Confucius. It was said that while in the woods, Ceng Shen felt that his mother needed him. He hurried home and discovered that his mother had bitten her finger hard because she missed him so greatly. He was also known to have divorced his wife because she served his mother poorly cooked food. Here, he kneels beside the bundle of firewood that he is tying up, looking across the valley to his home, suddenly award that his mother wants him. A white haze surrounds the pale yellow moon in the evening sky. Nicely detailed with soft color, a beautiful embossed pattern in the white robe, and silver mica accents on the lavender pants that have oxidized to a darker tone.

Artist - Yoshitoshi (active circa 1840 - 1880)

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

Condition - Nice color and printing quality. Nice large margins, as shown. Backed with paper from previous folio inclusion. Slight soiling. Good overall, see photos.

Moon of the Filial Son by Yoshitoshi (active circa 1840 - 1880)
Moon of the Filial Son by Yoshitoshi (active circa 1840 - 1880)