History of Linocut Prints

Frederick Walton invented linoleum in the 1860s in the UK and he developed it into a cheap floor covering. His factory and competitors became a large business exporting round the world. He combined the Latin words for flax (linum) and oil (oleum) to make Linoleum.

Traditional block printing was difficult and laborious to manage and linoleum was cheap, much easier to carve than metal or wood and much faster to get a prepared block.

Linocut prints became popular with artists in the UK, USA and Europe but it was when Matisse and Picasso took an interest in this technique that its popularity spread more quickly. Picasso produced linocut prints in the 1950s and moved it into the fine art sphere.

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