Yoshitoshi 芳年: Ishiyama Moon 石山月 Lady Murasaki Shikibu (SOLD)

  • Sold.

Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892) 芳年
Title: Ishiyama Moon 石山月
Series: One Hundred Aspects of the Moon 月百姿
Date: 1889

We see Lady Murasaki Shikibu deep in contemplation, gazing out over the moonlit Ishiyama mountain, seeking divine literary inspiration. She is so famous as the Heian period author of “The Tale of Genji” that Yoshitoshi has not even needed to put her name in the cartouche; we know it is her by her purple robe, as “murasaki” means violet. This relates to a famous scene that took place the first night that Lady Murasaki arrived at the temple at Ishiyama to begin her writing project. It is said that she prayed through the night for divine help with the project. She then used a long Buddhist scroll as a place to take her notes before her ideas escaped her--this sutra she later recopied to atone for using the scripture in this disrespectful way. With blindprinting on the white areas of her robes as well as on the title cartouche. There is lead orange pigment in her under-robe garment.

Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition.
Dimensions: ôban 35.5 x 23.9 cm
Publisher: Akiyama Buemon
Literature: Stevens, John: “Yoshitoshi’s One Hundred Aspects of The Moon”, Hong Kong, 1988. #71. See Portland Art Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Library of Congress, British Museum collections.
Seal: Taiso
Signature: Yoshitoshi