Definition of grisaille in English:


Line breaks: gri|saille
Pronunciation: /grɪˈzʌɪ(l)
, -zeɪl/


[mass noun] Art
  • 1A method of painting in grey monochrome, typically to imitate sculpture: trompe l’oeil elevations painted in grisaille
    More example sentences
    • 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.
  • 1.1 [count noun] A grisaille painting or stained-glass window: fine grisailles by Hans Holbein the Elder
    More example sentences
    • 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.


mid 19th century: French, from gris 'grey'.

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a small amount; a little