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Color linocut
MFA# 2005.1103


Color linocut
MFA# 1991.930

A block print prepared from a design engraved into a piece of Linoleum. Linocuts, first made in the late 19th century, exhibit a wider variety of patterns than woodcuts since linoleum is much easier to cut than wood. Since the linoleum is smooth and has no directional grain, it's patterns often included flat, uniform color regions. The images were used for works of art on paper as well as printed textiles. The linocut technique was made popular by Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse in the 1950s.

Synonyms and Related Terms

linoleum cut; vinyl cut; vinylcut; linoleumsnede (Ned.); lingravure (Fr.); gravure sur linoléum (Fr.); Linolschnitt (Deut.); linoleografia (It.); grabado en linoleo (Esp.); linoleumtryck (Sven.); linoleumsnitt (Sven.)

Physical and Chemical Properties

Cut edges are rough.

Resources and Citations

  • Luis Nadeau, Encyclopedia of Printing, Photographic, and Photomechanical Processes, Atelier, New Brunswick, 1997 Comment: developed in the 20th century
  • The Bullfinch Guide to Art History, Shearer West (ed.), Bullfinch Press, Boston, 1996 Comment: used in 19th century
  • B. Gascoigne, How to Identify Prints, Thames & Hudson, London, 2004
  • Encyclopedia Britannica, Comment: "linocut." Accessed 3 Feb. 2005 - introduced in early 20th century
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998