what is

Woodcut Printing?

what is woodcutting art?

Since its inception in China, woodcut printing has moved around the globe, from European regions to regions of Asia, and even to Latin America.

how labor was divided

In both East Asia and Europe, the designer created the woodcut design, leaving the block-carving to expert artisans known as block-cutters or Formschneiders.

the art of woodcut prints

Woodcut printing began in antiquity in China as a means of printing on fabrics, and subsequently on paper. The earliest woodblock printing date from the Han period.

white line woodcuts

This method simply carves the picture in primarily thin lines, much like a rough engraving. The block is printed with the picture generated by white lines on the majority of the print.


Japanese prints began to enter Europe in significant numbers in the 1860s, just as the Japanese culture was becoming acquainted with Western visual art.


Colored woodcuts were originally seen in ancient China. Three Buddhist pictures from the 10th century are the earliest known.


Chiaroscuro woodcuts were old master prints made with several blocks printed in various colors; they do not always have significant contrasts of light and shadow. 


The method was popularized in Mexico by José Guadalupe Posada, who was acknowledged as the founder of printmaking in Mexico and is regarded as the first Mexican contemporary artist.


Albrecht Dürer  (1471 – 1582)

Gustave Baumann  (1881 – 1971)