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Wood engraving

Also called xylography (from Greek xylos (wood) and graphein (write)). A variant of the wood carving technique, especially common throughout the 19th century. Like in wood carving the contours and lines of a drawing remain raised, whereas non-printing elements are cut off with a graver. The wood plate serving as the printing form consists of hard wood sawn across the grain, called end grain. For wood carvings, wood sawn along the grain, the so-called side grain, is used. This technique allows for particularly fine lines and contours and thus a rather accurate depiction of pen and pencil drawings. Until mechanical reproduction came into use, xylography carried out by professional engravers was the most popular technique for the illustration of books and magazines.

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