Word for the day: xylography—the art of making engravings on wood especially for printing.
In other words, a woodcut.
The master of woodcuts was Albrecht Dürer (1472-1528), a German painter and printmaker during the Renaissance.
Here are some examples I saw at a special exhibit at the Phoenix Art Museum last year:
The Adoration of the Magi
Detail of The Adoration of the Magi
Detail of The Annunciation
The complexity in Dürer’s work is amazing, especially when you consider that he carved away everything except what you see–thin lines, dashes, intricate folds and feathers…
You can see his initials (the stylized A surrounding the D) in the details.