#JP1-46928
Yoshitoshi (1839-1892)

A Summer Evening

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#JP1-46928
Yoshitoshi (1839-1892)
A Summer Evening
Series:
100 Views of the Moon
Medium:
Woodblock Print
Date:
1890
Size:
14.5" x 9.5"
Signature:
Yoshitoshi
Condition:
Very fine color and impression, light original album backing, embellished with embossing.

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Details

Publisher:
Akiyama Buemon
Seals:
Yoshitoshi

About the art

This tranquil scene of country life depicts a peasant couple relaxing with their baby. They sit on a straw mat under a trellis overgrown with vines of the night-blooming hechima, also known as “moonflowers.” After a day of hard work, they enjoy the evening and sip sake that has been warmed in a teapot. The inscribed poem describes their pleasure in the cool evening, the flowers, and the beautiful moon overhead. Yoshitoshi presents this informal scene of peasant life with great sensitivity. The sagging shoulder of the woman’s slip suggests that she is nursing her child, while the man reclines in the evening breeze. 

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 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.

 

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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