top of page


Spring is here and gardens are starting to blossom in their full glory. In Japan the cherry tree blossom is an event that everyone enjoys. Each year, people in Japan gather together to watch the sakura bloom from March through May and observe how at the peak of their beauty, the blossoms start to fall; providing a stark reminder that although life is beautiful, it is also ephemeral and short. Japanese traditions and art have fascinated Western artists since the 19th century. The french term for this art influence is Japonisme and it was mainly ukiyo-e, Japanese woodblock prints that became a source of inspiration for many. These prints were created for the commercial market in Japan and brought to the West through Dutch trade merchants gaining popularity in Europe from the 1860s. Japanese decorative arts, including ceramics, enamels, metalwork, and lacquerware, were as influential in the West as the graphic arts.

Some of the most popular examples of this influence in Western artists were Vincent Van Gogh's Japonaiserie who depicted Japanese motifs and copied Hiroshige's prints using his vibrant oil colours. Van Gogh admired Japanese graphic art so much that he even declared that all of his work was based to some extent on Japanese art.

Woodblock printing in Japan (mokuhanga) is a technique known for its use in the ukiyo-e artistic genre of single sheets, but it was also used for printing books in the same period. Invented in China during the Tang Dynasty, woodblock printing was widely adopted in Japan during the Edo period (1603–1868). The mass production of woodblock prints in that period was due to the high literacy rate of Japanese people in those days. There were more than 600 rental bookstores in Edo, and people lent woodblock-printed illustrated books of various genres. Printers in Edo quickly adapted the conventional woodblock printing to producing cheaper books in large numbers, for more general consumption. The content of these books varied widely, including travel guides, gardening books or cookbooks amongst other popular subjects.

Having original Japanese woodblock prints or contemporary reproductions framed in a Japanese style can be a highly creative feature for your interior designs with a bespoke themed rim to enhance them. We have chosen three examples framed by the First Floor Gallery Picture Framing Studio with a lined mount in a beautiful glossy blue bamboo frame. The reproductions of the prints belong to Hokusai (images 01 and 03) and Hiroshige (image 02).

As you can see, choosing bespoke frames for your artworks can make them visible in all their glory recreating the nostalgia of the 19th century and beyond.

Enjoy the blooming season!


Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page