Two new Japanese botanical prints to plant on your wall February 13 2018


Small Rohdea Collection I, a 20x200 Vintage Edition
8"x10" ($24) | 11"x14" ($60) |16"x20" ($240)



Small Rohdea Collection IV, a 20x200 Vintage Edition
8"x10" ($24) | 11"x14" ($60) |16"x20" ($240)

Today’s double Vintage Edition release may be a bit of a mystery, but the beauty of these two botanic panoramics doesn’t get lost in translation. These images come from Small rohdea collection, a 1832 book by Japanese author Tadataka Mizuno. Housed at the National Diet Library of Japan, the book abounds with illustrations by Sekine Untei, an artist known for his paintings of flora and fauna. As the title suggests, these two artworks depict Rohdea japonica, a species of plant native to Japan, China and Korea. Our attempts to make sense of the text in-image only got us as far as the title, alas, so the rest of it remains a mystery. (If you have a translation to offer, lay it on us!)

There’s a lot to love about panoramic images, but perhaps our favorite feature is their versatility. Their unconventional shape means they’ve got a chance to fit that funky wall space you’ve struck out on for so long. And if, like us, you’ve found yourself with a growing (heh) collection of houseplants, these two prints will fit in fabulously. The magic of botanical art is it’s greenery that doesn’t die when you don’t have time to water. Plants also go with everything, so there’s no worries about working these bad boys into your decor. Small rohdea collection I and Small rohdea collection IV are basically the indoor plants you’ve always wanted—with a 19th century pedigree. Ergo, we couldn’t pick just one...

Also known as the Nippon lily or sacred lily, Rohdea japonica is a treasured plant in Japan, widely cultivated across the country for at least the last 500 years. A tropical-looking member of the lily-of-the-valley family, it’s characterized by long, broad, evergreen leaves and, if pollinated, a tight cluster of bright red berries. In Japan, the sacred lily is traditionally associated with good luck, and often given as a housewarming or birthday gift (hint: these prints also make excellent gifts for good-fortune-behooving occasions). The Japanese Rohdea Society has registered over 600 cultivars, some of which go for upwards of $1000 a pop… so collecting your first-rate Rohdea japonica in affordable art form is the way to go, if you ask us.

Looking at Small rohdea collection I and Small rohdea collection IV, it’s easy for the eye to stray to the striking pottery. Sacred lilies are often grown in nishiki bachi—intricate handmade pots that pay an integral role in the presentation of the prized plants. Pottery is one of Japan’s oldest art forms, dating back to the Neolithic period, but at the time Small rohdea collection was published ceramic production was actually on the rise. Getting hip to the profitability of ceramics, local Japanese governments had increased kiln funding. At the same time, the discovery of more porcelain clay deposits and advances in transportation (so master potters could travel and teach their craft) both played a role in Japanese pottery’s 19th century boom. This might explain the emphasis on stylistic idiosyncrasies and detail work in the pottery pictured in our prints.

Keep in mind these two new editions are proper panoramics: for an 8”x10” print, we’re talking a 3.3" x 9" image (shoot us an email at support@20x200.com if you wanna know exact image dimensions for prints larger than that). The original artworks are found on a piece of paper measuring 52 inches long—it's possible that these pieces are panoramic in print form because their native surface was a handscroll. If not actually painted by the artist on a handscroll, these two editions were likely painted in that tradition, so we stuck with the panoramic aspect ratio. Authenticity for the win!

Snag either of these limited-edition prints or bring home both. Like real plants, you probably can’t have too many (don’t try to tell us otherwise).

With art for everyone,
Jen Bekman + Team 20x200