Original Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892) Japanese Woodblock Print
Yorimasa Watches the Monster Approach
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.
Yorimasa Watches the Monster Approach - Intriguing scene depicting the famous archer Minamoto no Yorimasa waiting quietly for the approach of the nue, a mythical creature with a tiger's body, a monkey's head, and the tail of a snake. The beast that had been attacking the Imperial Palace and plaguing the Emperor, who requested that Yorimasa shoot down and kill the creature. Here, he kneels on the ground, stretching out one sleeve between his hands as he scans the sky, his bow at his side. Yorimasa was able to bring down the monster with a single arrow. A quiet design emphasizing the suspense of the wait rather than the actual confrontation with the nue. Includes burnishing in the black court cap, finial, bow, and scabbard, and embossing in the white robe at the shoulders.
Artist - Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
Image Size - 8 3/4" x 13" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. A few marks, some soiling. Some wrinkling. Please see photos for details. Good overall.