A linocut is a relief print  produced in a manner similar to a woodcut but that uses linoleum as the surface into which the design is cut and printed from

John Banting, ‘Explosion’ 1931
John Banting
Explosion 1931
© The estate of John Banting
Pablo Picasso, ‘Portrait of a Woman after Cranach the Younger’ 1958
Pablo Picasso
Portrait of a Woman after Cranach the Younger 1958
© Succession Picasso/DACS 2018
Georg Baselitz, ‘Drinker’ 1981
Georg Baselitz
Drinker 1981
© Georg Baselitz

The lino block consists of a thin layer of linoleum (a canvas backing coated with a preparation of solidified linseed oil) usually mounted on wood. The soft linoleum can be cut away more easily than a wood-block and in any direction (as it has no grain) to produce a raised surface that can be inked and printed. Its slightly textured surface accepts ink evenly.

Linoleum was invented in the nineteenth century as a floor covering. It became popular with artists and amateurs for printmaking in the twentieth century.

See also

Prints and Drawings Rooms

Anyone can access artworks on paper from Tate’s collection, including historic and modern prints, drawings and sketchbooks