Yoshitoshi 芳年: Moon of the Red Cliffs 赤壁月 (Sold)

  • Sold.

Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892) 芳年
Title:  Moon of the Red Cliffs 赤壁月
Series: One Hundred Aspects of the Moon 月百姿
Date: 1889

The scene is the Red Cliffs of China during the Song dynasty in 1082. Su Dongpo was a Song official and poet, and here is the subject of the design. He took friends on a boating party to the Red Cliffs during a full moon. One played the flute as they all marveled at the spectacular scenery. Su Dongpo then wrote one of the most famous poems of Chinese literature, inspired by the beauty of the river and the moon and the impermanent nature of it all. Here Yoshitoshi has  rendered the scene using Chinese-style brush painting techniques, no doubt inspired by the Zhe school of painting. Stevenson also notes that this is one of the few designs in this series where the landscape dominates the picture, as the human figures here are dwarfed by the cliffs and the rising mist. With blindprinting in the white cartouche and woodgrain evident in the sky.

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 81. See British Museum, Portland Art Museum, Library of Congress, Yale University Art Gallery.
Seal: Taiso
Signature: Yoshitoshi sha