Grisaille stained glass, detail of the Five Sisters Window, 13th century, Cathedral of St. Peter, —Copyright Sonia Halliday and Laura Lushington
Painting technique by which an image is executed entirely in shades of gray and usually modeled to produce the illusion of sculpture or relief. It was used especially by 15th-century Flemish painters (e.g., Jan van Eyck's Ghent Altarpiece, 1432) and in the late 18th century to imitate Classical sculpture in wall and ceiling decoration. It is sometimes used to produce monotone underpainting for translucent oil colours. In the 16th century grisaille enamels were developed in Limoges, France; the technique achieves a dramatic effect of light and shade and a pronounced sense of three-dimensionality.