New Angles: daily inspiration

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi

Posted in art by menno1976 on October 3, 2009

A couple of years ago I went to an exhibition at Sieboldhuis in Leiden, the Netherlands. “Moonlight, One Hundred Aspects of the Moon” was the first exhibition in Europe to show the complete series “One Hundred Aspects of the Moon” by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi. Each of the hundred prints shows the moon in a rather subtle way: featuring in the background, through casting shadows on the ground or in a reference in an accompanying poem. Yet, on the mainstage ample place is reserved for numerous historical or literary themes from Japanese history.
Yoshitoshi (1839-1892) is generally considered the last great master of the Japanese woodblock print (ukiyo-e) and by some, one of the great innovative and creative geniuses of that artistic field. I fell in love with Yoshitoshi’s work when I saw it in real life at Sieboldhuis. The colours, composition and the themes are so compelling.
Here are some prints for you to enjoy. I especially like the “blood-avoiding” such as “Picture of the demon Omatsu killing Shirōsaburō”. Click on the images below for the full size.

“Moonlight over Mount Yoshino” , 1886

“Picture of the demon Omatsu killing Shirōsaburō” , 1886

“Fujiwara Yasumasa plays the flute by moonlight” , 1883

“The moon on Musashi plain” , 1892
Foxes (Kitsune) were believed to be cunning shapeshifters, with both benevolent and malevolent characteristics. They could take human form and had all kinds of other magical powers. For more interesting info on Kitsune and the superstitions surrounding them click here.

I can recommend Beauty & violence: Japanese prints by Yoshitoshi, 1839-1892 by Eric van den Ing and Robert Schaap if you want to know more about Yoshitoshi. 

For the complete set of “One Hundred Aspects of the Moon” I can recommend One Hundred Aspects of the Moon: Japanese Woodblock Prints by Yoshitoshi




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