Yoshitoshi 芳年: The Moon Through a Crumbling Window 月百姿 破窓月 (SOLD)

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Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi 月岡芳年 (1839-1892)
Title: The Moon Through a Crumbling Window
Series: One Hundred Aspects of the Moon (Tsuki hyakushi)
Date: 1886

The Buddhist monk Daruma sits in quiet yet intense concentration, wrapped only in his simple monk’s robe. Daruma (or Bodhidharma) was the Indian prince who brought Buddhism to China in the 6th century, and was a renowned ascetic. He is said to have sat facing a wall and meditating for nine years, until the outer wall crumbled and the walls of relative reality crumbled inwardly as he experienced higher states of consciousness. The scene is bathed in moonlight, yet Daruma’s expression is intense as he focuses in concentration inward. The wall crumbles around him and small vines are growing. As John Stevenson also notes in his book on the series, Daruma has come to epitomize the discipline and austerity of Zen Buddhism. The lead orange in Daruma’s robe has oxidized beautifully here, and the exceptionally early impression shows every detail of his facial expression. The superb printing features woodgrain in the sky and blindprinting on the white cartouche.

Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition. Unbacked. 
Dimensions: ôban 35.6 x 24 cm
Publisher: Akiyama Buemon.
Literature: Stevenson, John “Yoshitoshi’s One Hundred Aspects of the Moon”  #30 and British Museum collection online.
Signature: Yoshitoshi