Thursday, October 2, 2008

Wood Engravings vs. Woodcuts

Wood art this week! I have been trying to learn the difference between wood engravings and woodcuts. Wood engravers gouge a design into hard wood, while the other method involves cutting away pieces of soft wood so only the design is left. (Does that sound right, artists?) The funny thing is that The Flammarion Woodcut is actually a misnamed wood engraving.

The Flammarion Woodcut
By unknown

This work is called the Flammarion Woodcut because its first documented appearance was in Camille Flammarion's 1888 book L'atmosphère: météorologie populaire ("The Atmosphere: Popular Meteorology").

Here's the colored version, done by Heikenwaelder Hugo, 1998


A Japanese woodcut:
Monkey Reaching for the Moon
Shosan, c. 1910

A Brief History of the Woodcut
Andy English, who does lovely work, describes the process of wood engraving.

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