Yoshitoshi 芳年: An Iron Cauldron and the Moon at Night

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Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892) 芳年
Title: An Iron Cauldron and the Moon at Night–Kofuna no Gengo and Koshi Hanzo
Series: One Hundred Aspects of the Moon 月百姿
Date: 1886

Humorous scene of two city bumpkins planning the theft of a huge iron cauldron. The giant pot sits at left, the large seal and signature of Yoshitoshi adorning it. The figures are comic, with exaggerated gestures and features that are illustrated in a comic style known as Toba-e. The comic premise is that there is no way they could take apart an iron cauldron using a hacksaw and mallet in the dark of night without making a huge racket that would give them away. An iron vessel of this size would also seem likely unmoved by such tools applied to it. As beautifully printed as the other works in this series, the painterly brushmarks have been preserved by the printers both in the sky and on the cauldron. Even the striped trousers of the front buffoon have been printed with great care.

Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition. 

Dimensions: ôban 35.8 x 24 cm
Publisher: Akiyama Buemon
Literature: John Stevenson, Yoshitoshi’s One Hundred Aspects of the Moon (San Francisco: San Francisco Graphic Society, 1992), number 18. See British Museum, Portland Art Museum, Library of Congress, Yale University Art Gallery.
Seal: Taiso
Signature: Yoshitoshi sha