Monochromic (monochrome, monochromatic) decorations are such that are or appears to be made in the shades of a single color, often disregarding the natural colors of the motif as; a blue monochrome seascape, a sepia landscape, etc. In referring to Chinese porcelain decorations several different names are used, some overlappingly and referring to the same decorations depending on language use.
Gold/brown - Camaïeu (also en camaïeu) (fr.) especially to create an illusion of a low-relief. The name was previously synomymous with engraved camee stones. Rooms of the Vatican are decorated camaieux in which one employed various colors to imitate bronzes, porphyry, lapis lazuli, etc. why colors in this decoration could be blue, sienna and brown.
Yellow - Cirage (fr.)
Black - Encre de Chine (fr.), the meaning of which is Indian ink, black ink, Chinese ink, tusch, etc. Pencilled decoration in black, on Chinese export porcelain to imitating engravings.
Gray - Grisaille (fr.) French monochrome painting in gray with many tones; on porcelain, combined with fine black lines. In Renaissance painting, such grays were used to achive modelling effects and often to imitate sculpture. On Chinese porcelain, grisaille, more loosely defined, is executed with fine-hair brush with or without shades of gray and is used to imitate engravings. Also called Encre de Chine or peciled decoration.
Red and gold - Rouge-de-fer (fr.). Litt. iron-red. Red (on-glaze) enamel based on iron oxide that turns rust red in oxidizing (air rich) firing. Iron-red is the red that combined with gold, eventually some other enamels, and ungerglaze blue, makes up the Imari-decoration palette.
Brownish black - Sepia, originally referring to a dyestuff, coloured brown with a trace of violet, that is obtained from a pigment secreted by cuttlefish or squid. Dark grayish yellow brown to dark or moderate olive brown. A brown pigment obtained from the inklike secretion of various cuttlefish and used with brush or pen in drawing.
See also: Monochromic decorations