Definition of grisaille in English:



  • 1Art
    A method of painting in gray monochrome, typically to imitate sculpture.

    ‘trompe l'oeil elevations painted in grisaille’
    • ‘Painted in grisaille, they show a top-hatted character wandering through hilly landscapes and inclement weather.’
    • ‘Although she paints basically in grisaille, she will often add color to the figures to approximate old-fashioned hand-tinted photographs.’
    • ‘The center panel, executed in grisaille, shows the dog of the title - a pointer - walking down a flight of stairs somewhat uneasily, as dogs tend to do.’
    • ‘Its colour scheme - grisaille on a dark blue ground - and the decoration of its reverse both suggest that it was made in Venice around 1540-60.’
    • ‘There were also smaller studies, many in grisaille.’
    1. 1.1A painting or stained-glass window in grisaille style.
      ‘fine grisailles by Hans Holbein the Elder’
      • ‘When Eddy and Sophie met he mainly painted grisailles, works in shades of grey.’
      • ‘The mechanically produced grisailles are of the same high standard of quality that I have always demanded of my work.’
      • ‘He made grisailles of the destitute and maimed which have a moralizing character.’
      • ‘Within the present exhibition, the emphasis is on Richter's paintings based on photographs, his pure paintings, his famous grisailles and in particular the abstract expressionist works.’
      • ‘The sacristy is also worth visiting: it was built in the 16th century and has some interesting grisailles from that period.’



/ɡrəˈzī/ /ɡrəˈzaɪ/ /ɡrəˈzāl/ /ɡrəˈzeɪl/


Mid 19th century French, from gris ‘gray’.