The earliest print technique, woodcut first appeared in China in the ninth century. Arriving in Europe around 1400, it was originally used for stamping designs onto fabrics, textiles, or playing cards. By the 16th century it had achieved the status of an important art form in the work of Albrecht Dürer and other Northern European artists. The Expressionist sought to revive this rich heritage and adopted woodcut as a primary artistic vehicle. Their starkly simplified woodcuts capitalized on the medium's potential for bold, flat patterns and rough hewn effects.