Reference Entry


M. B. Cohn

in Oxford Art Online

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

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[linoleum cut, linoleum block print; Fr. linogravure, Ger. Linolschnitt, It. linografia, Sp. grabado en linóleo]

Type of relief print in which linoleum is used as the printing surface. Using gouges and knives, the artist cuts the design into linoleum, a man-made sheet flooring composed primarily of oxidized linseed oil and ground cork. Battleship linoleum, a variety c. 6 mm thick, is frequently recommended, as is Desk-top, a thinner sheet. With the advent of synthetic floorings, linoleum became less easily available. In the late 20th century it was no longer produced in the USA but was manufactured in Scotland and commonly sold only in artists’ shops. For printmaking, linoleum may be mounted on to plywood, to produce a block that can be printed mechanically. The linocut can also be printed in a simple screw or lever press or by hand, by rubbing the paper against the inked block with a spoon, rolling pin or baren (a slightly concave disc sheathed in bamboo), or by laying the inked linoleum on to the paper and hammering the back of the block. These hand-printing methods can also be used to print on to textiles, or the inked block can be turned on to fabric stretched on the floor and trodden on by the printer....

Reference Entry.  999 words. 

Subjects: Prints and Printmaking

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