French (1849-1918) La Seine au Pont d'Austerlitz (The River Seine at the Austerlitz Bridge)
Image: 167mm x 269mm
Museum Purchase: The Letha Churchill Walker Memorial Art Fund, 1987.0217 View full recordWhat to Look for:
"Wood engraving" is a form of woodcut that makes use of a carving tool that resembles an engraving burin. Nonetheless, wood engraving is a form of relief printing that differs from traditional woodcut in the use of end-grain blocks and in the standardization of their thickness. The use of relatively featureless end-grain allows the carver a great deal of detail, and the standardized height ("type high") allows the block to be combined with moveable type so that image and text can be printed in one pass in the press. Lepère, who had been trained as a commercial wood engraver, pioneered the use of wood engraving for purely artistic ends. Hallmarks of the technique include a "vocabulary" of white lines throughout, indicating that the print is a relief print (in which the marks made by the wood engraving tool are un-inked, being lower than the surface of the block). The black lines that you see are the areas that have painstakingly been avoided by the wood engraving tool (whereas in copperplate engraving, printed lines are the marks made by the engraving tool). White lines are especially evident in areas where the wood engraving tool has been used for cross-hatching, revealing a grid of white lines (for a good example look at the light passages in the clouds above the woman's head).