This is the second, (and third and fourth) installment in a series on wallpaper. A few days ago, we looked at many images of Chinoiserie wallpapers. In this series, we are going to look at grisaille and while many examples will be on wallpaper, some of them will be either painted onto a wall or a piece of art hanging on the wall. (and other medium)
Grisaille originated in fine art some centuries ago to create the illusion of sculpture on a flat surface and it is often seen in trompe l’oeil.
Grisaille encompasses every shade of gray, but often has tints of sepia, taupe, brown, blue and other colors. The clue is that it’s monochromatic and very muted. There is also grisaille which has a gray background, but then the artist has incorporated color in the fore-ground images. As for subject matter, there are two major classifications which are European or Oriental. Oriental could be Chinoiserie, but more commonly, it is Moroccan, Middle Eastern or Indian. In those motifs you will often find things like palm trees, elephants and camels and desert or tropical scenes and the like. In European grisaille, there are usually lots of leaves, forests, glens and classical architectural forms, hunters, dogs, horses, etc.
alright… enough of the lecture. ;]
In my portfolio, most of the images show colorful rooms and I love color, but I also love black and white and every shade of gray. And I adore grisaille! If you ever want to add instant class, glamor and richness to your room… add a grisaille mural or a piece of grisaille art. Although, if you order your panel(s) (through your designer) at places like Zuber and De Gournay, be prepared for a little (understatement) sticker shock. (although, there are places that do the same thing for less… but I can’t vouch for their reliability).
BTW… there is a way to hang your expensive wallpaper so that you can take it off the wall and rehang it in your next house.
This isn’t Grisaille but a post I found a while back where Melissa from the Well-Appointed House discusses how she had her Gracie paper rehung in her new home. (the trick, or part of it is to have the paper-backed with muslin) Love the latter application of the wallpaper inside the wall panels!
But back to the subject at hand…
I love grisaille so much that I have some 70-80 (I lost count) images to share with you. Ya know…back in the day… when the teacher gave a choice of one of three extra credit projects, I would do all three— just in case. lol. All I know is that I love grisaille and there is SOOOOO much out there. Please note, that I am not going to share EVERY image I found (just the best ones, IMO) In the interest of my sanity and not presuming that anyone has the patience to scroll down through 80 images… I’m going to divide this up. Now, I was going to divide it up in antique and not antique and grisaille that incorporates color… but naaaaahhh… I’m just going to put together three different posts. In some cases, I’m not sure if the paper is old or new or even painted directly on the wall or on paper and then hung. So it was difficult to come up with three distinct categories.
And these are not in a particular order. I love them all! But let’s start with something antique.
Above and below an antique Zuber screen from First Dibs. (I do not know if it’s still available or not)
Tara Shaw is known for her Swedish inspired furnishings and also sells grisaille art, both old and new (at Horchow above) and some of her furnishings are also grisaille inspired. (more about that later on)
please feel free to share! *Love your comments! Please note however, that the blog is meant as general advice. In addition, it is not possible to give out specific answers to your interior design and/or paint questions. Thank you for your understanding.