Original Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892) Japanese Woodblock Print
Katada Bay 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.
Katada Bay Moon - Handsome night scene depicting Saito Kuranosuke, a former retainer of Akechi Mitsuhide. After assassinating Oda Nobunaga, Akechi Mitsuhide was executed, and his followers fled to escape retribution. Kuranosuke and his son escaped to Katada Bay, where he fell ill and was arrested while recuperating. Here, Kuranosuke stands beside his horse outside a garden gate, hoping for refuge inside as he looks back furtively. He has discarded some of his armor during the flight, and his horse wears straw shoes to muffle the sound of its hooves. The full moon shines serenely overhead, the water of the bay calm below. Wonderful detail and color in the armor and clothing, with fine bokashi shading in the water and sky.
Artist - Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
Image Size - 12 7/8" x 8 3/4" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Backed with paper. Faint soiling, a couple small spots. Please see photos for details. Good overall.