We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

History of Printmaking

The whole doc is available only for registered users

A limited time offer! Get a custom sample essay written according to your requirements urgent 3h delivery guaranteed

Order Now

Stone rubbing actually predates any form of woodcut. To enable Chinese scholars to study their scriptures, the classic texts and accompanying holy images were carved onto huge, flat stone slabs. After the lines were incised, damp paper was pressed and molded on the surface, so that the paper was held in the incised lines. Ink was applied, and the paper was then carefully removed. The resulting image appeared as white lines on a black background. In this technique lies the very conception of printing. The development of printing continued with the spread of Buddhism from India to China; images and text were printed on paper from a single block. This method of combining text and image is called block-book printing (see Block Book).

The earliest known extant Chinese woodcut with text and image combined is a famous Buddhist scroll, about 5 m (about 17 ft) long, of the Jingangjing (Diamond Sutra; ad 868, British Museum, London). These early devotional prints were reproduced from drawings by anonymous artisans whose skill varied greatly. The crudeness of the images indicates that they were reproduced without any thought of artistic interpretation, but as was to be true in Europe during the 1400s, such early works of folk art were important in the development of the print.

Printmaking originated in China after paper was invented (about ad105). Relief printing first flourished in Europe in the 15th century, when the process of papermaking was imported from the East. Since that time, relief printing has been augmented by the various techniques described earlier, and printmaking has continued to be practiced as one of the fine arts.

Toward the end of the Ming dynasty in the 1640s, there appeared a text called Painting Manual of the Mustard-Seed Garden. This was actually an encyclopedia of painting, intended for the instruction and inspiration of artists. Many of its beautiful instructive woodcuts were in color as well as in black and white. A reprint edition of the Painting Manual was brought to Japan, and with it came the basic woodcut technique, which Japanese artists gradually developed.

Related Topics

We can write a custom essay

According to Your Specific Requirements

Order an essay
Materials Daily
100,000+ Subjects
2000+ Topics
Free Plagiarism
All Materials
are Cataloged Well

Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website. If you need this or any other sample, we can send it to you via email.

By clicking "SEND", you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We'll occasionally send you account related and promo emails.
Sorry, but only registered users have full access

How about getting this access

Your Answer Is Very Helpful For Us
Thank You A Lot!


Emma Taylor


Hi there!
Would you like to get such a paper?
How about getting a customized one?

Can't find What you were Looking for?

Get access to our huge, continuously updated knowledge base

The next update will be in:
14 : 59 : 59