Aspects of the Moon

print 94
Our Moon was full this week. Regular readers of this blog know that I love that universe out there and follow celestial events near and far. The Moon is our closest contact with that outer space. We know the Moon more than we know the Sun (which is certainly much more critical to our existence). We have stood on the Moon. We watch it appear to change day by day. It helped us determine our calendar month.

cooling off at shijo

Artists have been drawing the Moon as long as we know by the art they left behind. Recently I read about a book titled One Hundred Aspects of the Moon. It is a collection of woodblock prints by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892). he was the most influential and prolific woodblock print artist of Meiji Japan.


He started creating the prints in 1885 and completed the series before his death in 1892. There are 100 images in the series. The images illustrate stories from history and legend and are unified by the motif of the moon, although the moon doesn’t appear in every print.

Printed in book form with explanatory text, they explain aspects of Japanese history and legend.

Yoshitoshi’s series One Hundred Aspects of the Moon consists of one hundred woodblocks, published in his later years, between 1885 -1892. Although the moon appears in only a few prints, it is a unifying motif for the whole series.

Yoshitoshi: One Hundred Aspects of the Moon Facsimile Edition

One Hundred Aspects of the Moon: by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi


In an earlier post, I discussed the influence that Japanese art had on Vincent van Gogh and other Impressionists.

painting 1

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Ken Ronkowitz

A lifelong educator on and off the Internet. Random by design and predictably irrational. It's turtles all the way down. Dolce far niente.

2 thoughts on “Aspects of the Moon”

  1. Yoshitoshi was probably influenced by the incredible work of Hokusai: 100 views of Mt Fuji. In the mid 19th century the Dutch managed to enter into a trade deal with Japan (who had managed to remain isolated till then). This resulted a trade frenzy as wealthy patrons and collectors had access to all thing Japanese. Japanese art had a major impact on western artists who were moved by their use of simplicity of shape, flat planes, and spatial relationships. This is especially evident in the work of post impressionist artists Van Gogh and Toulouse-Lautrec, as well as Manet and Mary Cassatt, who were inspired and influenced greatly by Japanese paintings and wood block prints.


  2. Laura

    I believe you are correct on the influences on him.
    I know that when I visited the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam it was very clear that Japanese prints had a big impact on Vincent. I wrote earlier about that here I will add a link to that in the post.
    Thanks for reading and commenting.


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