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Katsushika Hokusai art prints and posters

Born in 1760, in Edo (which is now known as modern day Tokyo), to a family of artisans – his father was believed to be Nakajima Ise, who designed mirrors for the Shogun, the imperial ruler at the time. Hokusai began painting at an early age of six by observing his father whose work on the mirrors included painting designs on the frames.

Aged 12, Hokusai began working: after a short apprenticeship with a wood carver, he was accepted into the studio of Katsukawa Shunsho, mastering the art of ukiyo-e, a style of woodblock prints and paintings depicting courtesans and Kabuki actors who were popular in Japan at the time.

After publishing his own works, Katsushika Hokusai left the workshop in 1785, as he refused to change his style. He began travelling around Japan, becoming an evasive figure as he lived in 90 different places, under 30 different names while working on perfecting his art. At times, Hokusai's career struggled due to the poor economic situation and government censorship.

The Japanese master painted various subject matters like scenes of erotic dreams and fighting samurais, but he was mainly influenced by landscapes. Hokusai is most famous for his woodcuts of Mount Fuji and The Great Wave of Kanagawa, which depicts a gigantic tsunami threatening the boats near the peaceful prefecture of Kanagawa.

Hokusai’s popularity declined towards the end of his life, when a fire tragically destroyed his studio in 1839, along with much of his work. This wasn’t helped by the fashion for younger artists such as Andō Hiroshige. Hokusai never stopped painting until his death on May 10 1849 at the age of 87.

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Moulding

Gives the frame its character and provides the perfect setting for an artwork to be fully enjoyed.

Perspex or glass

Protects the artwork from dust and wilting so that it can be admired for many years.

Mount

Adds depth to an image and works with the moulding to enhance and protect the artwork.

Backing board

Bonds to the artwork ensuring it is perfectly smooth and holds the whole frame together.

More about framing

framing info

In the Design Studio

We partner with the world's top museums and galleries to bring you exclusive prints of the highest quality. Our teams of designers ensure the colours are accurate, papers are well suited and the best frames are suggested.

Colour Perfecting in the Print Room

In the printing room, artworks are printed on state-of-the-art machines with a team of technicians checking colour and quality every step of the way.

Measuring Up

After being cut down to size, our team carefully finish any stray edges, check measurements and prepare the prints for mounting and framing.

Assembling Frames in the Framing Workshop

We have a team of master framers who work with high-quality, responsibly-sourced wood to create our vast range of framing combinations - each frame is bespoke and made to order for every print.

Hand-finishing in the Framing Workshop

Our selection of hand-finished frames are painted or stained by hand in a variety of colours, and finished with a layer of wax - the end result is a uniquely crafted, beautiful frame that is made to last.

The Last Stop

In this workshop everything comes together - the print, the frame and the glass - in a seamless and stream-lined process.

Mounting the Prints

The artwork is carefully mounted in preparation for framing.

Laying the Glass

Once mounted, the print is ready to be covered by glass or perspex - a delicate procedure but expertly done with not a fingerprint in sight.

The Final Product

After a final, thorough check, the framed print is ready to be carefully packaged up and shipped to the customer.

Transferring to Canvas

For those who order their art as canvas prints, the same amount of attention and care goes into the process. Here, the print is being transferred to a wooden frame.

Finishing the Canvas Edging

As with the framed prints, our canvases are all hand-finished in the workshop - a labour of love from start to finish.