they bead it with a pearly grisaille

SuprunP

Senior Member
Ukrainian & Russian
[...] Quimperlé, more firmly attached, ever since the Middle Ages, among the streams about which it babbles as they bead it with a pearly grisaille like that which is sketched, through the spiderwebs of a stained-glass window, by rays of sunlight which have turned into blunted points of burnished silver?
(The Way by Swann's; M. Proust)

Would you be so kind as to tell me what exactly 'to bead' means here?

Thanks.
 
  • dermott

    Senior Member
    B.E. via Australian English
    To bead usually refers to the process of sewing or otherwise attaching beads. Beads being these things, though they come in all shapes, sizes, colours and materials:



    In this context, I suspect bead it means the running water is giving the appearance of beading. Grisaille is a style of beadwork based on light colours. So the water is giving the appearance of beading in light colours.
     
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