Technique wood engravings were invented in the Far East. In Europe, it began to be used in the 1420s. In Dürer’s time, wood engraving was used, first of all, to create book illustrations. The cliche of this engraving was carved by the master with the help of a sharp knife on a smooth wooden board, then it was smeared with printing ink and pressed with the help of a hand press to a sheet of paper.
His first engravings on the tree Durer cut himself, but later preferred only to put on the board the desired drawing, otherwise trusting the master-carvers or his assistants. Plots of Durer’s engravings were not struck by the novelty, but engravings themselves, remaining traditional in content, were distinguished by the size, complexity of the composition and the richness of the line.
As an example, we present engravings on the tree “Apostle” and “Rhinoceros”. These works put forward Durer in the number of the greatest masters of this genre.