Contemporary Reproductions of 18th Century Japanese Scroll Paintings


Norman McGrath, professional photographer, and Hendrik Laverge, Asian art collector, have joined forces to create a limited edition series of high quality reproductions of scrolls based on 18th century Japanese scroll paintings. These reproductions are now being offered for sale to the public.

There has been a revival in interest in antique Japanese bird and flower scroll paintings. As a result of the growing demand, their availability has decreased and prices have gone up. Simultaneously there has been a revolutionary change in the computer-enhanced simulation of especially flat-painted, highly detailed, large-scale images which particularly suits Japanese scroll painting.

To accommodate today’s buyer, McGrath & Laverge have applied this new form of representation to a selection of the scroll paintings by an 18th century master which are still in the collection of the monastery to which they were donated by the artist.

The original scrolls were painted on rice paper mounted on silk. Our scrolls are archival inkjet prints on extra strong fine-grained canvas, hand mounted with traditional wooden rods. The colors are as vibrant as those of the originals, and the materials are first class. These scrolls are guaranteed a long life.

The scrolls have a limited production, are numbered and individually signed by the producers, who control the copyright.

Ito Jakuchu (1716-1800), was a wholesale food merchant who retired from business to pursue the study of Zen Buddhism. In the monastery he started painting and was influenced by the traditional Chinese bird and flower style. He did not have any formal training and followed the conventions of this classic East Asian genre. Over time his work became increasingly personal and inventive, especially in composition and color.

The scrolls measure five feet long by two feet wide, about two thirds of the originals, and ideal for a modern home. They are easy to roll and store in a special reinforced cardboard tube, which comes with each scroll.

The color images were obtained from prints of photographs of the original Japanese scroll paintings. These prints were then scanned on an Epson V700 scanner at highest resolution, which produced a file of over 250 megabytes.

This file was then printed on a Canon 6300 printer using Canon ink and the high quality canvas especially made by Canon for inkjet printers, which makes the scrolls completely archival.