Modern Belgian Wood Engravers

Modern Belgian Wood Engravers

Modern Belgian Wood Engravers

Modern Belgian Wood Engravers

Excerpt

In our days, the art of wood engraving and woodcutting is a protest against commercialism and an assertion that the technique of the wood engraver or the woodcutter is an art in itself. Mechanical reproduction of facsimiles has achieved a wide popular success because of its rapidity and fidelity, but the aim of the wood engraver is not correctly to reproduce a drawing or a painting. Even if he is inspired by either of these, he will not reproduce them, but interpret them in his own way and according to the possibilities and limitations of the techniques of his art. For wood engraving has its own laws and its own style. It is as personal an art as painting and as sculpture. Eric Gill has eloquently pointed out the degradation of the artistic values in modern process reproduction as follows: "In the matter of drawing and illustration and engraving, degradation is inevitable when one man draws, another touches up the drawing, another photographs,

The wood engravings reproduced in the introduction are taken from the Dialogus Creaturarum, Antwerp, 1486.

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