Reference Entry


Katharina Mayer Haunton, Hilary Chapman and S. R. Theobald

in Oxford Art Online

Published online January 2003 | e-ISBN: 9781884446054 | DOI:

Show Summary Details


[Fr. gravure en bois, gravure sur bois; Ger. Holzschnitt; It. silografia, xilografia; Sp. grabado en madera, xilografía]

Type of relief print and the process by which it is made. The term ‘woodcut’ is often used loosely for any printmaking technique that employs a wooden block. Strictly speaking, however, the term applies only to cuts made on planks of wood. The precise term for the method that involves cutting the design on the end-grain of the block is Wood-engraving. The term ‘xylography’ is sometimes used to refer to both processes. This article discusses Western woodcuts, including those coloured free-hand or by stencil or printed from one or more blocks; chiaroscuro woodcuts, which are printed from at least two blocks using dark ink and white highlights on a coloured background, are discussed in a separate entry (see Woodcut, chiaroscuro). For a discussion of woodcuts in other cultures see China, People’s Republic of, §XIV, 21; Indian subcontinent, §VIII, 2; and Japan, §X.

Woodcut is a relief-printing technique (...

Reference Entry.  17178 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Prints and Printmaking

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content. subscribe or login to access all content.