An image of The moon at high tide


(Japan 1839 – 1892)

The moon at high tide, from the series One hundred aspects of the moon

Not on display
Further information

Yoshitoshi’s career straddled two eras – the last years of the Edo period and the first few decades of modern Japan following the Meiji Restoration in 1867. Initially enthusiastic and opened to Western influxes, he became increasingly sceptical about the loss of numerous aspects of traditional Japanese art and culture due to rapid industrialisation and Westernisation. In a time when modern reproductive technologies such as photography and lithography were introduced to Japan and enjoyed high popularity, Yoshitoshi concentrated his efforts in introducing new themes and techniques to the stagnant art of ukiyo-e colour woodblock prints, taking it thus to a new height, before it definitely declined after his death. His highly imaginative, often flamboyant and even disturbing depictions of historical events, warriors, beautiful women and the supernatural has led him to be recognised as the last great master of traditional Japanese woodblock print.
This print bears a printing date of January 1886 and a publishing date of April 1892. According to John Stevenson, prints made before 1887 contained only one date. After 1887, government regulation required the indication of printen and publishing date. The signature style on this print is similar to those used by Yoshitoshi after 1887, it can therefore be assumed that a preparatory sketch was completed in January 1886, after which the design was put aside and only resurrected in 1892, when Yoshitoshi became too ill to fulfill commissions during the last months of his life. (Stevenson, 1992)
Asian Art Department, AGNSW, August 2012.

Place of origin
Japan: Meiji period 1868–1912
Jan 1886
colour woodblock; ôban
39.0 x 26.0 cm
Signature & date

Signed and dated.

Yasuko Myer Bequest Fund 2012
Accession number