Grey Matters…

by Dorothea

The Power of Grey and White…

When I first entered the Pazzi Chapel at the Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence as a History of Art student, I was mesmerized by the power of grey and white, with as an only touch of color the terra cotta “rondi” in white and blue glaze…It felt serene, more about that below…


The chapel was completed in the 1460s, almost two decades after the death of its architect, Filippo Brunelleschi. The building is considered to be an Early Renaissance masterpiece.


It is quite magical to think that the grey stone is called  pietra serena, meaning “serene stone”…perhaps not a coincidence…whatever turmoil in your heart or brain, you will feel serene in this magical space, where the proportions are perfect, the light is just right and you are confronted with the greatness of the Renaissance, the beginning of the modern world…


The touch of color comes from the “rondi” (medallions) of the seated Apostles, by Luca della Robbia, who also did the terracotta decorations in the cupola of the porch.

To show you how enduring this color scheme is, I used it in my drawing room, both in the panelling and the choice of fabric.


All the colors of the Pazzi Chapel are there: grey, white, blue and a touch of yellow or gold…timeless!