ArtLex Art Dictionary




wwood engraving - A print similar to a woodcut (woodblock print) in that it is made by cutting (engraving) a design into a block of wood, usually boxwood. However unlike a woodcut, the artist cuts the design on the end-grain of hardwood rather than the side grain of soft wood. The print's design can therefore be more intricate than the typical woodcut.

The gravers or burins used to work the block are similar to those used to engrave a copper or steel plate, but instead of producing lines that will print, they are used to produce non-printing lines. It is the uncut surface that takes the ink and prints.







see thumbnail to leftAmerican, View of Rochester with a section of the Aqueduct, 1830, wood engraving, 11 x 7 inches. This was at the time the newly completed first aqueduct over the Erie Canal, printed to illustrate a story in the Monthly Repository and Library of Entertaining Knowledge, volume 1, number 5, published October, 1830. A canal boat can be seen crossing the aqueduct.







see thumbnail to rightAmerican, after Gustave Doré (French, 1832-1883), Glory be to the Father . . . , c. 1861, wood engraving, illustration for Dante's Divine Comedy, The Paradiso, Canto XXVII.





see thumbnail to leftAmerican, after Winslow Homer (American, 1836-1910), The Sharpshooter, 1862, wood engraving, full page 16 x 11 inches, published in Harper's Weekly.










see thumbnail to rightAmerican, after Frederic Remington (American, 1861-1909), The Apache War Indian Scouts on Geronimo's Trail, published on the first page of Harper's Weekly, January 9, 1886. Remington's drawing was copied by the maker of this wood engraving. See illustration and nocturne.






see thumbnail to leftRockwell Kent (American, 1882-1971), Hail and Fairwell, 1930, wood engraving.





see thumbnail to rightAsa Cheffetz (American, 1896-1965), Midsummer Vermont, 1936, wood engraving on wove paper, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, NH.







see thumbnail to leftM. Lois Murphy (American, 1901-1962), Weighing Fish, 1936-37, wood engraving on paper, Library of Congress, Washington, DC. Lois Murphy produced Weighing Fish while affiliated with the Works Progress Administration (WPA) Federal Art Project (FAP) in New York City in 1936-1937.



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Also see bookplate.



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