#JP1-46942
Yoshitoshi (1839-1892)

A Poem of Broken Bucket

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#JP1-46942
Yoshitoshi (1839-1892)
A Poem of Broken Bucket
Series:
100 Views of the Moon
Medium:
Woodblock Print
Date:
1889
Size:
14.5" x 9.5"
Signature:
Yoshitoshi
Condition:
Very fine color and impression, light original album backing, embellished with embossing and oxidation.

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Details

Publisher:
Akiyama Buemon
Seals:
Taiso

About the art

The full moon was traditionally considered to be even more beautiful when it was seen reflected in water. In this print, Yoshitoshi presents the famous 18th century haiku poet, calligrapher and painter Chiyo in an elaborate kimono, her spilled water reflecting the pale autumn moonlight. W hile trying to capture the reflection of the moon, the bucket fell and broke. The anonymous poem written in the cartouche describes her plight: the broken bucket will not hold water, much less, contain the moon. 

About the artist

The son of a Tokyo physician, Yoshitoshi Tsukioka (né Kinzaburo Yoshioka) is considered one of the last great masters of ukiyo-e. 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.

 

Yoshitoshi’s 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.

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