Yoshitoshi 芳年: Moon Over the Moors–Yasumasa (Sold)

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Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi 芳年 (1839-1892)
Title: Moon Over the Moors–Yasumasa
Series: One Hundred Aspects of the Moon: Tsuki hyakushi
Date: 1888

An unusual vantage point of the famous story of Fujiwara no Yasumasa playing the flute by moonlight, the outlaw Hakamadare Yasusake trailing him closely, wanting to rob him but captivated by his playing. This work was created a few years after his masterpiece triptych of the same subject, and Yoshitoshi has chosen a completely different angle. Here the two figures appear more human; even the full moon is smaller, while the wild grasses of the moor surround the two. Yasumasa’s fearless gait is captured, as we can feel he spring in his step with the motion of his outer robe. The story is from the Uji shui monogatari, compiled in the 13th century. It (rather unusually) has a happy ending, as Yasusake was gifted the robes he wanted to steal once Yasumasa made it home.

Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition.
Dimensions: ôban (36.2 x 24.4 cm)
Publisher: Akiyama Takeemon
Seal: Engraver: Yamamoto
Signature: Yoshitoshi with his seal