26 January 2018

Monochrome: Painting In Black and White Exhibition at The National Gallery

Monochrome: Painting in Black and White is currently exhibiting at The National Gallery, until the 18th February, 2018. This is the first major exhibition to explore the history of painting in black and white from the 12th to the 20th centuries.

Jean-Augste-Dominique Ingres. 'Odalisque in Grisaille,' c.1824-34. The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Image courtesy of The National Gallery

It also looks at the radical approach in which artists through the eras have replaced the use of colour in their paintings - some of whom are famed for their use of colour, such as Van Eyck, Rubens and Boucher - and questions why artists have chosen to paint without colour throughout the centuries.

'The Miracle of St.Walburga, by Peter Rubens, Circa 1610. Image courtesy of Wikiart
The exhibition starts in the Middle Ages, at a time when colour was regarded for some as the 'forbidden fruit' and prohibited by religious orders for devotional purposes. In the 12th Century Cistercian Monks created grisaille stained glass, which served as another means of creating colour and light in church. This new method became hugely popular and as a result became known as 'de rigueur' in many French churches.

Stained Glass Panel with Quarries and a Female Head about 1320-4. Victoria and Albert Museum. Image courtesy of The National Gallery
This exhibition also examines the modern take on monochrome, as seen in the works of Picasso, Giacometti and contemporary artists such as Gerhard Richter, Chuck Close, Bridget Riley and Jasper Johns.

Alberto Giacometti: 'Walking Man 1' 1960's. Bronze. Collection Foundation Giacometti Paris. Image courtesy of Art Blart

Jasper Johns: 'Untitled' 1978. Acrylic on paper, 111 x 74 cm. Image courtesy of  Matthew Marks Gallery

Op-Art Bridget Riley 'Uneasy Centre' 1963. Image courtesy of Pinterest

If you are feeling inspired by the monochrome style, then why not visit us here at Grays, where you will see a vast array of pieces waiting to be discovered.

1950s Cigarette Case (spun on wire to release the cigarette). Available from Gillian Horsup Vintage Jewellery.
Black and White Swirl Clip On Earrings. Available from Gillian Horsup Vintage Jewellery.
Black and White Spotted Bow Brooch. Available from Unicorn
Art Deco Psychedelic Buttons by Nouveaute (six buttons per card). Available from Gillian Horsup Vintage Jewellery.
Art Deco Compact Mirror Box with Eggshell and Black Lacquer on Silver, continental. Circa 1920's. Available from Matthew Foster.

Celluloid Hat Pin. Available from Gillian Horsup Vintage Jewellery.

Modern French Clip-On Earrings. Available from Gillian Horsup Vintage Jewellery.

Early 19th Century French Napoleonic Carved Coconut "Bugbear" Powder Flask. Circa 1810-20. Depicting The Emperor Napoleon, The Duke of Wellington, Masonic Devices and Bugbear Spout. 14.5cm long. Available from Patrick Boyd-Carpenter.
Silver Black and White Enamel Bangle, from Thailand. Available from Gillian Horsup Vintage Jewellery.

Italian 19th/Early 20th Century Tortishell, Mother of Pearl and Bone Manderin. Available from Patrick Boyd-Carpenter.

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