Yoshitoshi 芳年: The Lady Ariko no Naishi (Sold)

  • Sold.

Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi 芳年 (1839-1892)
Title: The Lady Ariko no Naishi
Series: One Hundred Aspects of the Moon: Tsuki hyakushi 月百姿
Date: 1886

The Heian period court lady Ariko no Naishi covers her eyes, plectrum still in hand, too overcome with emotion to continue playing her instrument. Unable to bear the suffering of her unrequited love, she is about to jump into the waves to end her torment. The moon’s reflection is almost alive, as are the waves, which almost seem to be beckoning to her.  The poem reads: “How hopeless it is//it would be better for me to sink beneath the waves//perhaps then I could see my man from Moon Capital --Ariko” Note how Ariko’s hair and the neck of her biwa has been placed in front of the cartouche in a touch that seems very modern. Widely considered one of the best designs of the series, this is a splendidly early impression, with blindprinting and lacquer-like printing effects. 

Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition.
Dimensions: ôban (35.6 x 24 cm)
Publisher: Akiyama Buemon
Signature: Yoshitoshi with his seal