Scrolls are the best known of the three main types of Chinese art expression, Western views about Asian Art and Culture have in many ways been shaped by the images we have seen in the painted scroll.
Scrolls are found in two primary forms, vertical format like the example above, and horizontal format. Both formats can range in length from a couple of feet long to paintings that require a "Palace" sized wall to display.
Though not as familiar to the average western art lover as the painted scroll, the painting album is probably culturally more significant to the dissemination of information and culture throughout the whole of Asia then either of the other two painting formats combined. This is due in no small part to the portability and protected nature inherent in the format itself.
Painting Albums like Scrolls have a wide variation of sizes that in some ways seems to only be limited be the artists desire and willingness to deal with the size issue. I have seen Painting Albums as small as aprox. 4" x 6" and some large enough that each album leaf if mounted in scroll form would make a nice size scroll.
The third major painting format is the Fan Painting, though much more compact and portable then the Painting Album, the inherent fragility of its form is the main reason that so few Fan Paintings survive for any great length of time. This is also the main reason that fan painting collectors have always had the fans disassembled and the Fan Paintings remounted usually as Album Leaves but sometimes as Scrolls
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