Yoshitoshi 芳年: Akazome Emon Waiting in Vain for her Lover to Visit (Sold)

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Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892) 芳年
Title: Akazome Emon Waiting in Vain for her Lover to Visit
Series: One Hundred Aspects of the Moon 月百姿 (Tsuki hyaku sugata)
Date: 1887

The Heian court poetess Akazome Emon has waited up all night for her lover’s visit, only to finally go to bed alone just before dawn. Here she takes one more look to see if he might be arriving, and is captured by the sight of the descending moon. She wrote this poem, which  is heartbreakingly relatable even a thousand years later: “I wish I had gone to bed immediately/ But now the night has passed/ And I watch the moon descend.” Her refinement is evident even though she only wears brocaded white robes and a bright red sash. Her hair flows to the floor, and she has the added “moth eyebrows” that were the height of fashion for the aristocracy during her time at court. Her white robe is beautifully embossed and the black metal accents have been printed with the lacquer-imitating extra printing effect. The viewer can really experience the sensitivity of Yoshitoshi's portrayal in this very early impression.

Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition.
Dimensions: ôban vertical (35.5 x 24 cm)
Publisher: Akiyama Buemon
Literature: Stevens, John: “Yoshitoshi’s One Hundred Aspects of The Moon”, Hong Kong, 1988. #44. See Portland Art Museum.
Seal: Taiso
Signature: Yoshitoshi