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Women on Wednesday

December 4, 2013

Saknorskaya

I am always on the look out for a woman for Wednesday: after a busy weekend I thought I had exhausted the possibilities. Then I found this wonderful illustration in Wood-engraving and woodcuts by Clare Leighton.  It is called Woman in the 1905 Revolution by Sakhnorskaya; this is all I know about the image and the artist.  

It is very like other Russian prints I have seen; with crisp lines; and details that are almost like pen and ink drawing; as seen in the central man’s apron and the ladies’ dresses.  This stark black against white is often described as tour de force describing the most precise cutting up against the remaining lines.  

The work is strongly animated and representative of the best Soviet school of modern wood engraving .  While the English engravers of the time allowed themselves to to be dominated by craftsmanship the Russians were more concerned about the emotion of the subject.  They were also less constrained in the shape and borders of their prints and used the outside of the page as part of the design.  

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