Grisaille glass panel with unintended colour: 'stained' glass (image from here)
Today I finished reading Monochrome: Painting in Black and White, the catalogue of the exhibition currently on at the National Gallery in London. I completed the book in two long sittings - it was a real page-turner for me, full of interesting history, and giving me a thought-provoking perspective on monochrome work right up to the present day.
I knew as soon as I saw news of the exhibition that the subject is a great one, but I never felt any urge to see the show. I was simply keen to read the book. And indeed the catalogue is full of essential images which are not in the exhibition. I certainly did not feel the absence of examples of great monochrome art - I can now look those up, and keep my eyes open to look with greater scrutiny, if needed, at works I encounter in future.
The reviews - here, and here, and here - are various, but did not persuade me that I need to go to the exhibition for real. It was the information, the history, the examples, the comparisons, and the ideas which have excited me.