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  Scroll Paintings and Prints Blog  
  In Japan the traditional method of "framing" a painting is to mount it on a paper scroll, cover its edges with silk fabrics and add wooden rollers to the top and bottom of the scroll. A piece of ribbon is then attached to the top roller to allow the scroll to be hung vertically on a wall. Two Japanese names for a scroll painting are kakejiku 掛軸 (i.e., hung scroll) and kakemono 掛物 (i.e., hanging object). Because a scroll is longer than it is wide the usual format for a painting mounted on a scroll is also longer than wide. Typically the length is 2 to 4 times the width. An example of a Japanese scroll painting, chosen from the Reader Collection of Japanese Flower-and-Bird Art, is shown below together with a closer view of the painting itself.  
  Sample Scroll Painting  
  A scroll painting could be very expensive to buy, especially if it was made with luxurious materials and/or the painting was by a famous artist. To provide a less expensive alternative for art buyers, Japanese artists made prints which had the same vertical format as scroll paintings. These "scroll" prints were less expensive for three reasons. First, many copies could be made easily. Second, most, if not all, prints were NOT mounted on scroll paper with silk fabrics and wooden rollers. Third, they were typically smaller in size than scroll paintings. Over the past three hundred years Japanese printmakers have made literally thousands of woodblock-printed "scroll" prints. Examples of three popular sizes are shown below, chosen from the Reader Collection of Japanese Flower-and-Bird Art.  

Sample Scroll Prints


To see more scroll paintings and prints from the Reader Collection click here.


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