Linocut

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
Tate
© 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
Tate
© Succession Picasso/DACS 2018
Georg Baselitz, ‘Drinker’ 1981
Georg Baselitz
Drinker 1981
Tate
© 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.