linoleum block printing

linoleum block printing or linocut, 20th-century development in the art of relief cuts. The linoleum block consists of a thin layer of linoleum mounted on wood; in this the design to be printed is cut in the same manner as for a woodcut. The advantage of linoleum cuts lies in the softness of the material and the consequent ease with which it can be cut, but linoleum is not so suitable for fine lines as wood, nor can as many prints be produced. The process has been used widely in textile printing and in grade-school art classes. It is especially suitable for bold, decorative designs. Matisse's linocut illustrations for Montherlant's Pasiphaë (1944) show great sensitivity of handling.

See J. Elam, Introducing Linocuts (1969).

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