Monochrome: Painting in Black and White

30 Oct 2017 – 18 Feb 2018

Regular hours

11:00 – 18:00
11:00 – 18:00
11:00 – 18:00
11:00 – 18:00
11:00 – 21:00
11:00 – 18:00
11:00 – 18:00

Cost of entry

Admission charge

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Journey through a history without colour as works by masters such as Rembrandt and van Dyck are juxtaposed with those by modern and contemporary artists including Picasso, Riley, Richter and immersive light installation artist Olafur Eliasson.


Explore the tradition of painting in black and white from its beginnings in the Middle Ages through the Renaissance and into the 21st century

Painting using predominantly black-and-white pigments has long held a fascination for artists, yet there has never been a major exhibition on the subject.

‘Monochrome’ presents a series of case studies that investigate where and when grisaille painting was used and to what effect: from early religious works to paintings that emulate sculpture or respond to other media such as printmaking, photography, and film.

Comprising works on glass, vellum, ceramic, silk, wood, and canvas by artists such as Rembrandt, Picasso, and Gerhard Richter (1932–), ‘Monochrome’ encourages visitors to trace the fascinating but little-studied history of black-and-white painting.

For more information, visit The National Gallery website.

This exhibition is organised by the National Gallery in collaboration with Stiftung Museum Kunstpalast, Dusseldorf.

Exhibition generously supported by

Howard and Roberta Ahmanson

With additional support from

The Daniel Katz Gallery, London

The Vaseppi Trust

David Zwirner, London and New York

Exhibiting artistsToggle

Olafur Eliasson

Olafur Eliasson

Gerhard Richter

Jacob de Wit

Josef Albers

Josef Albers

Anthony van Dyck

Rembrandt Van Rijn

Bridget Riley

Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso


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