Graven Images


The Art of the Woodcut.This beautifully designed book highlights some of the most striking and amusing examples from theBritish Library’s collections and provides brief commentary on the political and social background of thetimes. Frequent topics of illustration include monsters, witches, criminals, drinking, war and politics.

Product details

The invention of the printing press led to an explosion of cheap printed materials in the sixteenth andseventeenth centuries. Ballads were no longer confined to the soapbox. Mass communication was nowpossible. The broadsides pasted on walls and disseminated among the masses, together with the writtenballads hawked at street corners, represented the zeitgeist of popular culture in early modern Europe.Frequently designed in ‘blackletter’ gothic type and accompanied with distinctive woodcut illustrations,this dynamic, lively form encompassed the obsessions and characteristic humour of the times.

Jon Crabb
British Library
Publication date
April 2017
176 pages
210 x 148 mm

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