Yoshitoshi explored and reinterpreted themes of the supernatural in the context of the tales of the Suikoden. While the images can be bloody and full of gore, they retain a charm often missing in his later works.
This unusual series, stems from early in Yoshitoshis career. In style as well as subject matter the series owes a huge debt to his teacher Kuniyoshi. Yoshitoshi, eccentrically though, chooses to use Kuniyoshi's precedent, (Kuniyoshi did not complete the series) but then adds a variety of extra characters from legend, stories and folk tales as well as some popular kabuki roles. The series becomes a virtual compendium of imagery and narrative from woodblock art and popular fiction, some of which - confusingly for the viewer - makes little sense at times. Nevertheless, it is a fine series and well regarded, the prints are crisp and tight and well produced and the depictions clearly show the inventiveness that was to follow, later in Yoshitoshis career.
The piece is mounted and glazed within an ebonised frame. It is in a very good condition with no visible damage or visible foxing. The son of a Tokyo physician, Yoshitoshi Tsukioka (ne Kinzaburo Yoshioka) is considered one of the last great masters of ukiyo-e art. As a young boy he showed remarkable talent and began to study under the renowned Kuniyoshi at the age of 12.
Yoshitoshi also studied under Yosai and was adopted by the Tsukioka family. As modernization pushed ahead, Yoshitoshi suffered a nervous breakdown in 1872, living in poverty and ceasing all artistic production. A year later, he resumed working; adopting the artist name Taiso and fulfilling his creative potential.In 1885, he began one of his most acclaimed series. 100 Views of the Moon. In the spring of 1892, he suffered his final mental breakdown and was committed to the Sugamo Asylum. On the 9th of June 1892, he died of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 53. Yoshitoshis prints are known for their eerie and imaginative component. He worked in a Japan undergoing rapid change, straddling the domains of the old, feudal systems and the new, modern world. His considerable imagination and originality imbued his prints with a sensitivity and honesty rarely seen in ukiyo-e of this time period. From ghost stories to folktales, graphic violence to the gentle glow of the moon, Yoshitoshi not only offers compositional and technical brilliance, but also unfettered passion. Good general condition, minor surface markings. All of our items are rare, antique or vintage curiosities.
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