Yoshitoshi Tsukioka, Spirit of the Plum Tree, One Hundred Aspects of the Moon

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Original Japanese woodblock print.

Artist: Yoshitoshi Tsukioka (1839-1892)
Title: Spirit of the Plum Tree
Series title: One Hundred Aspects of the Moon
Publisher: Akiyama Buemon
Date: 1888
Size: 23.9 x 35.7 cm
Condition: Light soiling, slightly faded.

'One Hundred Aspects of the Moon' is one of Yoshitoshi's most popular series. It contains one hundred woodblock prints depicting various, unrelated figures from Japanese and Chinese culture, with the moon as its unifying theme and exploring a range of tones and emotions for the subjects depicted. Yoshitoshi worked within a traditional art form, yet his drawings incorporated western techniques and were unlike any style that had come before him. The series was begun in 1885 and completed just before the artist's death in 1892.

This design was inspired by Chinese and Japanese literati paintings. The beautiful woman portrayed is the Spirit of the Plum Tree who appeared to Zhao Shixiong, a Chinese poet of the Sui dynasty (589 - 618). As the poet was admiring the flowering tree one morning, he fell asleep and dreamed of the nymph who inspired him to write a poem on his experience. The colours of the print are soft and muted, with patches of red that stand out, on the lady's hairpiece, lips and fan, emphasising her elegant demeanour.

More Information
Print Format Oban (Vertical)
Artist Name Yoshitoshi Tsukioka
Title Spirit of the Plum Tree
Subject Beauty & Female, Flowers & Botanical
Dimensions 23.9 x 35.7 cm
Condition Report Light soiling, slightly faded.
Series One Hundred Aspects of the Moon