Original Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892) Japanese Woodblock Print
Fujiwara Playing the Flute by Moonlight
Comments - This image is indisputably Yoshitoshi’s masterpiece, and may be considered one of the greatest woodblock print designs of all time. The triptych illustrates a tale about the Heian-era nobleman, Fujiwara no Yasumasa, playing his flute on the lonely moor of Ichihara while walking home one night. His brother, Hakamadare Yasusuke (Kidomaru) snuck up on him, intent on robbing him of his elegant robe, but enchanted by Yasumasa's beautiful music, he stopped in his tracks. Kidomaru instead followed his brother home, who only then became aware of his presence and happily gave him a robe.
Yoshitoshi shows Yasumasa absorbed in his playing, standing tall as the wind blows his robes about him, completely oblivious to his surroundings. Kidomaru crouches beside him, ready to draw his sword, completely entranced by the sound of his brother's flute. Misty clouds drift across a warm, yellow full moon glowing in the softly shaded evening sky. The tall grasses are beautifully drawn and seem to rustle in the night breeze, providing an atmospheric setting for the scene. A beautifully composed and lyrical design, capturing a moment in time and transporting the viewer to the scene. A finely detailed printing with beautifully executed bokashi shading and traces of mica. This is an especially fine example of this Meiji masterwork.
Artist - Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
Image Size - 14" x 28 1/4" + margins as shown
Condition - Three separate prints, not attached at the seams. Some slight wrinkling on the prints, as shown, typical. The center panel with a vertical fold from previous folio inclusion, now flattened, about 1/3 of the distance from the left of that sheet, see photo. The upper margin of the center panel reinforced from back, not noticeable. Overall nice.