Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A style of monochromatic painting in shades of gray, used especially for the representation of relief sculpture.
  • noun A painting or design in this style.
  • noun Vitrifiable glass paint.
  • noun A lacy pattern painted on light glass with vitrifiable paint and fired.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A fancy fabric with a cotton warp and a wool weft for women's wear.
  • noun A system of painting in gray tints of various shades, produced by mixing white with black, used either simply for decoration, or to represent objects, etc., as if in relief; also, a painting, a stained-glass window, etc., executed according to this method. See camaieu.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Fine Arts) Decorative painting in gray monochrome; -- used in English especially for painted glass.
  • noun A kind of French fancy dress goods.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun art In painting, a method of working which employs only varying values of gray to create form. Often a preliminary step in a fully colored painting.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun chiaroscuro painting or stained glass etc., in shades of grey imitating the effect of relief

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[French, from gris, gray, from Old French, from Frankish *grīs.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Borrowing from French grisaille

Examples

  • He had noticed that wide double doors, painted in the pale brownish grey called grisaille, formed the further side of the tiny apartment.

    The End of Her Honeymoon

  • The thickening branches make a pink 'grisaille' against the blue sky.

    Men, Women and Ghosts

  • "grisaille," painted by Uccello, in the fifteenth century, in memory of

    A Literary History of the English People From the Origins to the Renaissance

  • February may be the shortest month but rather than see the City of Light doused in grisaille grayness, Parisians go skiing or in search of winter sun—preferably in a corner of the former French empire where there's no danger of English being the lingua franca or steaks being served well-done.

    Pruning the Cost of Luxury on the Riviera

  • The outlines are traced and during the Renaissance, the canvas was painted with a burnt umber ground and an image made using a cloth or a brush to pull out highlights and make a high contrast underpainting called a grisaille.

    Leanne Goebel: Isca Greenfield-Sanders & Marc Brandenburg in Denver

  • A dramatic chandelier of 18th-century lead crystal hangs from a fraying hemp rope, while a modern tripod floor lamp illuminates an antique grisaille wallpaper panel by Zuber.

    Rooms With a Viewpoint

  • A dramatic chandelier of 18th-century lead crystal hangs from a fraying hemp rope, while a modern tripod floor lamp illuminates an antique grisaille wallpaper panel by Zuber.

    Rooms With a Viewpoint

  • Copenhagen-Humlebaek Art "Louisiana on Paper: Vija Celmins" presents a selection of sketches by the Latvian artist known for capturing the realism of black-and-white photography in her grisaille technique.

    What's On Around Europe

  • When Braque, working from the landscape in 1908, develops a range of whites, blacks, grays, greens and browns in his Cubist paintings, he isn't limiting his palette but inventing a new language inspired equally by Parisian light, modern scientific investigation and Renaissance grisaille.

    A Modern Movement Unto Himself

  • The outlines are traced and during the Renaissance, the canvas was painted with a burnt umber ground and an image made using a cloth or a brush to pull out highlights and make a high contrast underpainting called a grisaille.

    Leanne Goebel: Isca Greenfield-Sanders & Marc Brandenburg in Denver

Comments

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  • ...his mind was elsewhere, and he did not shine in the discussion which forever remained in his mind as a grisaille of inconclusive tedium.

    - Nabokov, Ada, or Ardor

    June 4, 2008