Wood Engraving

Back to people overview

A form of woodcut similar to a copperplate engraving, where a woodblock is incised and used as the basis for a print. The lines are rigid, tapered at the ends, and vary in thickness and length to create tone and texture. Wood engravings are printed in relief: the ink is rolled onto the surface, so the incised lines remain white. Woodblocks are one of the earliest methods of printing, dating back to eighth century China. Multiple blocks can be cut for different colours to be printed.

Ptolemaic World Map printed from a woodcut by Lienhart Holl, set against a blue sky with clouds surrounding the maps. There are 10 Windheads around the Earth.