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.
Yuyudo Publisher - In the early 20th century, the Yuyudo publishing house had already distinguished themselves as one of the finest publishers in Japan. They adhered to the same exacting standards of 19th century publishers while some of their publishing colleagues took shortcuts. In the 1950's, as interest Edo era woodblock prints was reigniting, Yuyudo embarked upon a project to produce reprints by the great masters from the Golden Age of Ukiyo-e. They hired the finest woodblock printers and carvers in the world for this endeavor. The resulting prints were some of the highest quality reproductions ever made. We are pleased to offer this beautiful reprint from the Yuyudo publisher in our auctions today. Yuyudo prints are exceptionally well done and very finely printed. Each bears a Yuyudo Publisher stamp on the margin or reverse. Bid now on prints from this fantastic collection!
Akazome Emon Viewing the Moon - Wonderful print depicting Akazome Emon, a well-known noblewoman and poet of the Heian era. After a long night waiting restlessly for her lover to arrive, she composed this verse:
I wish I had gone to bed immediately
but now the night has passed
and I watch the moon descend
She peers anxiously out the doorway as the moon begins to set, disappointed at having stayed up all night and wishing she hand known that he was not coming. She wears a deeply embossed white robe, a red sash tied loosely around her waist and her long hair falling to the floor over her shoulders. A handsome composition, beautifully drawn and detailed. Seldom seen in reprint.
Artist - Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
Image Size - 13 1/8" x 8 7/8" + margins as shown
Condition - Excellent overall with no issues to report.