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Gold Rehaussé – Gilded Highlights

Gold Rehaussé is a classic French term refers to method in which the highlight is gilded in gold leaf.  Used in trompe l’oeil and TL ornament techniques.


In decorative painting, this technique was used a lot in the late 18th and early 19th century over polychrome or grisaille ornamentation to replace the “white highlight” in order to give more distinction to the trompe l’oeil. The gold is best used as a highlight when the base is a mustardy ochre and the shadow is a burnt umber. Usually, 22K gold is used in this technique.

This type of gilding is generally done with oil size applied with a fine sable brush. When a “pop” of highlight or sparkle is desired, this technique is very effective.

These next 4 images are form the Louvre Museum in Paris.

When gold leaf is placed on a molding profile to accentuate it, it’s called gold repiqué 

These are doors by Pierre Finklestein of Grand Illusion Decorative Painting, Inc.
Close up

The accents on this duck were done in paint (on a job with André Martinez)