A method of monochrome painting, generally employing shades of grey, executed in a black pigment (such as a carbon-based lampblack) and an inert white pigment.
Monochrome painting, generally employing shades of grey (the term derives from gris, the French word for 'grey'), executed in a black pigment (such as a carbon-based lampblack) and an inert white pigment. Grisaille first appeared in the late thirteenth century but was especially popular from the second half of the fourteenth through the fifteenth century. Semi-grisaille, with landscape and flesh areas executed in colour, characterized illumination at the court of King Charles V of France (r. 1364-80). Camaïeu is a related technique that employs colors other than grey, such as Camaïeu d'or, using gold, to create a monochrome painting or decorative component.
Michelle Brown, Understanding Illuminated Manuscripts (Malibu, CA: J. Paul Getty Museum in association with the British Library, c1994).