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October 05 , 2009

A Brief History of Wood-engraving from Its Invention - The Original Classic Edition


Finally available, a high quality book of the original classic edition of A Brief History of Wood-engraving from Its Invention. It was previously published by other bona fide publishers, and is now, after many years, back in print.

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The first undoubted fact that we can arrive at in the history of wood-engraving is that early in the fifteenth century there were to be found, in many of the monasteries and convents in various parts of Europe, prints of the Virgin with the Holy Infant, the most popular Saints, and Subjects from the Bible, which were certainly taken from engravings on wood; and we have now to describe some typical examples of primitive devotional pictures, printed by the xylographic process. ...The cut measures 11½ inches in height by 8½ inches in width, and is coloured after the manner of the time; that is, the Saint's robe is tinted with red and the lining with yellow ochre, the nimbuses are of the same kind of yellow; the robes of Christ and the monk are light blue, of the same tint as the water; the grass and foliage are bright green; the faces, hands, and legs are in a pale flesh-tint; there are but five or six colours used, and they may have been either washed in by hand or brushed in through a stencil-plate. ...These facts have confirmed me in my opinion that the next step of the {10}engraver on wood, after playing-cards, was to engrave figures of Saints, which, being distributed and lost among the laity, were in part preserved by the monks, who pasted them into the earliest printed books with which their libraries were furnished.'

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