Yoshitoshi 芳年: Gravemarker Moon 卒塔婆の月 (SOLD)

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Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892) 芳年
Title: Gravemarker Moon 卒塔婆の月
Series: One Hundred Aspects of the Moon 月百姿
Date: 1886

The great poetess Ono no Komachi sits in peaceful contemplation atop a gravemarker in a cemetery beneath a crescent moon. She was once a famously brilliant and beautiful favorite of the court, but her arrogance brought her suffering later in life. Here the moon is shown as a sliver, a waning crescent moon, which perhaps is meant to echo how Komachi herself is also at the waning crescent of her years. Her tattered traveling hat and the pampas grasses behind her amplify the desolation of the scene, and her garments are made with the remnants of very fine silk fabrics. This is a very early impression and beautifully printed, with blindprinting in the pattern of the white kimono and in the white of the cartouche. Also note the strong yellow in the moon and the strong pink in the title cartouche. 

Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition. Unbacked. 
Dimensions: ôban 35.6 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 25. See British Museum, Portland Art Museum.
Seal: Yoshitoshi
Signature: Yoshitoshi