(down east dilettante)
Grisaille painting and wall papers have always been a love of mine. Grisaille (pronounced "griz eye") is the french word for shades of grey. This monochromatic technique was done both because artists could travel and do the work with out supplies, and the Grisaille painting could be a sample and/or under painting over which pigments could be applied.
Linda Coulter, a wonderful painter explains in her website: This concept was developed many centuries ago when pigments were very scarce. The Old Masters had only a handful of pigments to accomplish their beautiful results so they had to push each individual pigment to its fullest capacity to be able to achieve the luminosity in their art work that made them famous. In those days when pigments were extremely expensive, and it was also a way to save money. A sister to Grisaille is the less known Brunaille - which is in shades of brown. Below are some of my favorite examples.
The first is Martha Stewart's entry hall in her Turkey Hill House. This large mural stopped me in my tracks the first time I saw it . Lovely!
Here a common suburban two story entry turns extraordinary with this hand painted design.(down east dilettante)
This historic house turned museum is in Portsmouth, NH. The Moffat-Ladd house mural is likely Dufour wall paper from early 1900's, which depicts the Bay of Naples. To learn more about this wonderful house click here.

(architect design)

Here antique wall paper panels found at the Louvre are stunning. Read more about them on Architect Design here.

(Cote de Texas via Edie van Breems)

One of my favorite images is from Cote de Texas via Edie van Breems of Libby Holsten's home click here. The curves of Mora clock wonderfully compliment the mural behind it.

I love the room above, though not traditionally Grisaille or Brunaille, the addition of the shades of green and the side panel painting make for a gorgeous wall.

I adore this 18 century hand blocked Grisaille wall paper from Wendy Lewis at the Textile Trunk. You may not be aware of this, but Wendy also has a gorgeous selection of rare antique wallpapers.

This particular piece took my breath away! It is just stunning in shades of cream and gray. I envision it framed in my Living room or Dining room like a rare work of art, or perhaps I could cover a screen with it. Oh the possibilities!
(photos above Textile Trunk)
Though Wendy does not always list every gorgeous paper she has (her wallpapers move fast and are in great demand by her interior designer buyers) send her an email and she will let you know what treasures she has recently found. Click here to contact Wendy.
If you do decide to buy this let me know how you use it. But if its sold by the time you read this, you may end up seeing it in one of my clients homes or even in my own house because I just can't stop thinking about it!!



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