New! Exquisite Chinoiserie prints from artist Diane Hill

New! Exquisite Chinoiserie prints from artist Diane Hill

At Shimu we are always on the look out for beautiful accessories and products that will perfectly complement our oriental furniture. We source the majority of these direct from China ourselves, as their unique nature and the traditional skills needed to create them are difficult to find elsewhere. So when we came across the work of the hugely talented London artist Diane Hill (seen here below right) we were blown away!

Diane Hill Chinoiserie Prints

Diane's art is inspired by the Chinoiserie style that was popular in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries, and which you may recognise from the period interiors of the great stately homes of England, or from the pages of Vogue or Elle Decor. Chinoiserie was a style created to satisfy the tastes of Europe's elite and their new-found fascination with the orient. Beautiful silk wallpaper and furniture in the style was produced in China specifically for export to the west, ending up in the homes of the wealthiest members of society in Britain, France and other parts of western Europe.

Chinoiserie style print

You'll still see similar silk wallpaper available, produced in China for the likes of De Gournay and with a hefty price tag to match. We've worked with one or two suppliers ourselves in the past and still have a few handpainted silk panels available in our showroom that we imported a few years ago. When we found Diane's profile though we were both amazed and delighted to find such exquisite work being produced here in the UK.

Diane paints in watercolour onto silk backed with rice paper in a traditional Chinese painting technique known as 'Gongbi'. Her subjects are the wonderful birds, butterflies and flowers that are a common theme for Chinese paintings, with a rich symbolism important to Chinese culture. The level of detail is extraordinary, with each brush stroke and the smooth blend of colours perfectly executed.

Chinoiserie style painting cranes

Diane first developed an interest in and love of Chinoiserie designs during her time at university. This soon turned into an obsession, leading eventually to Diane studying in China under the tutelage of masters of the art, soaking up as much as she could about their precise techniques. Her first project was to paint her youngest daughter's bedroom, creating a wonderful Chinoiserie design full of bright flowers and beautiful birds. Photos of the room were picked up by Vogue magazine from Diane's social media pages and the resulting reaction convinced Diane to turn her passion into a business.

Now Diane's finished paintings are digitised using a speciailist precision scanner and reproduced in all their perfection, capturing every detail of the paintings and even the texture of the woven silk background of the originals. The printed versions are very affordable and make wonderful additions to an interior, mounted above a bedside table or console or paired to create a feature wall. The prints are produced on Archival Giclée heavyweight paper and are available to order either unframed to mount and frame to your own preference, or in simple wooden black or white frames. You can view the full collection now under our artwork section, and look out for more beautiful artwork from Diane in the future.
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