The pieces do not quite reach the level of Chinese monochrome porcelains, but their inferiority is not marked.
The preparation in monochrome for this picture, a work of extraordinary power both of design and physiognomical expression, is preserved at the Uffizi, but the painting itself was never carried out, and after Leonardo's failure to fulfil his contract Filippino Lippi had once more to be employed in his place.
He took for model the rich and delicate liquid-dawn monochrome, and succeeded in producing some specimens of considerable merit.
It closes with the introduction of incised, white-filled decoration on pottery, whose motives are presently found reproduced in monochrome pigment.
All students of the ceramic art know that the monochrome porceMonochro- lains of China owe their beauty to the fact that the;afic t color is in the glaze, not under it.
Acting upon that theory, the experts of TokyO and Nagoya have produced many very beautiful specimens of monochrome enamelyellow (canary or straw), rose du Barry, liquid-dawn, red, aubergine purple, green (grass or leaf), dove-grey and lapis lazuli bl,ue.
A monochrome loses much of its attractiveness when the color merges into a metal rim, or when the interior of a vase is covered with crude unpolished paste.
Of equal or even more intense power, though of narrower scope, is an unfinished monochrome preparation for a St Jerome, found accidentally at Rome by Cardinal Fesch and now in the Vatican gallery; this also seems to belong to the first Florentine period, but isnot mentioned in documents.
There exist also fine drawings for a "Lamentation over the body of Christ," an "Adoration of the Kings," and a "March to Calvary"; of the last-named composition, besides the beautiful and elaborate pen-and-ink drawing at Florence, three still more highly-wrought versions in green monochrome exist; whether any of them are certainly by the artist's own hand is matter of debate.
One of these was a cartoon or monochrome painting of Adam and Eve in tempera, and in this, besides the beauty of the figures, the infinite truth and elaboration of the foliage and animals in the background are celebrated in terms which bring to mind the treatment of the subject by Albrecht Darer in his famous engraving done thirty years later.
Such porcelains, however, lack the velvet-like softness and depth of tone so justly prized in the genuine monochrome, where the glaze itself contains the coloring matter, pte and glaze being tired simultaneously at the same high temperature.