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.

1 thought on “History of Linocut Prints”

  1. meredith holliday

    I have five Picasso linocuts that have a piece of the same paper taped (acid free) to the back with the artists name, the original’s dimensions, What colors and how many blocks were used, and what number. They are at least 50 years old.
    Why would this occur?

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