Linocut

Linocut (from linoleum and woodcut) is a variety of engraving in which a pattern is cut on a sheet of linoleum or other polymeric material and then printed on a paper. Invented in the early 20th century, the method is in many ways similar to xylography.

It is one of the simplest relief printing techniques. Linoleum was first used instead of a wood block in 1905 (as a floor covering, linoleum dates to the 1860s) by artists from the German association called Die Brucke, when they wanted to print big posters but could not find a wood block large enough for the purpose.

The method of linocut is essentially the same as that of xylography: the engraver employs gouges of different shapes and sizes to cut a design, traced through a tracing paper, on the smooth surface of linoleum (usually battleship linoleum up to 3 millimetres thick) and incises small details with a knife. Then an ink consisting of a pigment and a liquid binder is applied to the raised surface with a roller. As a result, the lines remain white and the background becomes black. As in xylography, the main distinction of linocuts is sharp contrasts between black and white. It was not for nothing that linocut was favoured by artists whose creative method emphasises expressiveness, contrasts and conciseness. Besides, linocuts are cheaper, more tractable to the burin and afford better opportunities for working with colour. But unlike a woodcut, a linocut is more decorative: the lines are clearer, smoother and more fluent, because they are impressed, not into a wood, but into a soft pliant surface. While in xylography the cut lines are sharp, in linocuts they are wider, have rounded tips and clear-cut edges. So, to avoid sharp contrasts and to turn the limitations of the technique into a potential for originality and expressiveness, artists had to invent new methods of linear and cross-hatching and application of spots.

The first Russian engraver to try his hand at linocut was Vasily Mathes student Nikolay Sheverdyaev, who exhibited his linocuts in Paris in 1906. In 1907, with Sheverdyaevs assistance, the method was adopted by Ivan Pavlov, who elaborated all the main tricks of the craft that gained currency among Russian linocut masters. Linocut prints were also created by Yelizaveta Kruglikova, Boris Kustodiev, Ilya Sokolov, Vadim Falileev, Victor Zamirailo, Alexey Kravchenko, Dmitry  Mitrokhin, Vladimir Favorsky.

Illarion Golitzyn produced linocuts in the 1960s. The linocut technique to this day remains one of the most popular methods of printmaking.


Prints

All prints in this technique

  • Favorsky V. A.

  • Favorsky V. A.

  • Favorsky V. A.
  •    .. ..…
    Yudovin S. B.

  • Yudovin S. B.
  • Industrial landscape Industrial landscape
    Kravchenko A. I.
  • In the shop floor In the shop floor
    Kravchenko A. I.
  • Two GirlsTwo Girls
    Lapin L. P.
  • SunbathingSunbathing
    Lapin L. P.
  • CoupleCouple
    Lapin L. P.
  • MaidMaid
    Lapin L. P.
  • Girl Combing her HairGirl Combing her Hair
    Lapin L. P.
  • Tatiana Writing a Letter to OneginTatiana Writing a L…
    Lapin L. P.
  • SpinozaSpinoza
    Lapin L. P.
  • Footballer and Two Girls at the TableFootballer and Two …
    Lapin L. P.
  • Woman with a Ball and a BoyWoman with a Ball a…
    Lapin L. P.
  • Two People at the TableTwo People at the T…
    Lapin L. P.
  • GirlfriendsGirlfriends
    Lapin L. P.
  • A Monk and a GirlA Monk and a Girl
    Lapin L. P.
  • Man and Woman Man and Woman
    Masiutin V. N.
  • Man and WomanMan and Woman
    Masiutin V. N.
  • Beggar womanBeggar woman
    Masiutin V. N.
  • In the PubIn the Pub
    Masiutin V. N.
  • In the StreetIn the Street
    Masiutin V. N.
  • Man and woman in the sidewalkMan and woman in th…
    Masiutin V. N.
  • Self-portraitSelf-portrait
    Shevchenko A. V.
  • Head of a JewHead of a Jew
    Shevchenko A. V.
  • A Woman Walking with a BasketA Woman Walking wit…
    Shevchenko A. V.
  • A Soldier with an AccordionA Soldier with an A…
    Shevchenko A. V.
  • Lunch (on 2 boards)Lunch (on 2 boards)
    Shevchenko A. V.
  • By the Window (dark version).By the Window (dark…
    Shevchenko A. V.
  • Still life with Pears and a WineglassStill life with Pea…
    Shevchenko A. V.
  • Tree behind the FenceTree behind the Fence
    Shevchenko A. V.
  • Landscape with Two FiguresLandscape with Two …
    Shevchenko A. V.
  • YardYard
    Shevchenko A. V.
  • Landscape with FactoryLandscape with Fact…
    Shevchenko A. V.
  • Landscape with BridgeLandscape with Bridge
    Shevchenko A. V.
  • Houses and TreesHouses and Trees
    Shevchenko A. V.
  • Bright DayBright Day
    Shevchenko A. V.
  • Landscape with TreesLandscape with Trees
    Shevchenko A. V.
  • Landscape with HouseLandscape with House
    Shevchenko A. V.
  • Through the TreesThrough the Trees
    Shevchenko A. V.
  • Model with a Drapery and a JugModel with a Draper…
    Shevchenko A. V.
  • Seating ModelSeating Model
    Shevchenko A. V.
  • Lying modelLying model
    Shevchenko A. V.
  • Model in the Room (on 3 boards)Model in the Room (…
    Shevchenko A. V.