A grisaille turned into a trompe l’oeil, symphonies in white, making the transition to oil paints, an exercise for pupils, and vibrant primary colours.
Should chiaroscuro paintings show much in the way of colour, given that in the dark only the rods in our retinas function, giving us monochrome vision?
Completes this tour of the painter’s palette, with well-known greens, then the essential blacks and whites. Examples from Michelangelo to Vincent van Gogh.
From Botticelli’s map of Dante’s ‘Inferno’ to Vermeer’s fine-detailed depictions of decorative wall hangings.
Some works by artists of the Spanish Golden Age, including El Greco, Jusepe de Ribera, Zurbarán, and a guest appearance from Rubens and polychrome wood carving.
From Jan van Eyck’s trompe l’oeil, through Tanner’s fiery cross, to the modern young Polish woman of Jacek Malczewski.
A whirlwind trip through the history of compositional chiaroscuro, from the Renaissance, through Caravaggio and Artemisia Gentileschi, to Rembrandt.
It’s not a colour at all, say some, while the Impressionists wanted to banish it from the palette. But throughout the history of painting, the blackest black has remained vital.
In the hands, and brushes, of great artists, a religious set-piece becomes a succession of marvellous and highly innovative paintings.
We should add these Masters to the growing list of those with ‘painterly’ style, and consider whether Impressionism was a development of Venetian ‘colorito’ painting?