This is an Italian term that literally means “light-dark“. In paintings, the description refers to marked tonal contrasts, often used to indicate the volume and modeling of the objects depicted. Artists famous for using chiaroscuro include Leonardo da Vinci and Caravaggio.
Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness is considered a masterpiece and a prime example of Caravaggio’s use of tenebrism and chiaroscuro, as well as confirming the artist’s position as the father of Italian Baroque.
The use of chiaroscuro, where the treatment of light and dark in an artwork helped create dramatic tension, was a key component in Baroque artworks.
Chiaroscuro paintings typically have a high contrast between light and dark, emphasizing important figures and drawing the eye to the subject of the painting. Chiaroscuro provides a sense of drama and intensity that is still impressive today.
The term chiaroscuro comes from the Italian words chiaro, meaning light or bright, and oscuro, meaning dark. Artists use the chiaroscuro method of painting shadows and a single light source to create photorealistic paintings with value and depth.
Chiaroscuro balances high-contrast lights and shadows to create the impression of depth for an enhanced or more dramatic effect. Chiaroscuro creates three-dimensionality on a two-dimensional plane, obscuring the background and emphasizing the subject in the foreground, drawing the viewer’s focus and attention.
The term describes the striking use of light and shadow contrast in painting, drawing or printing. The main principle of chiaroscuro is that the solidity of the form is best achieved through the effect of light falling on it, so that the shading gives a sense of volume to two-dimensional figures.
Chiaroscuro balances high-contrast light and shadow to give the appearance of depth and create an enhanced or more dramatic effect. Chiaroscuro creates three-dimensionality on a two-dimensional plane, obscuring the background and emphasizing the subject in the foreground, drawing the viewer’s focus and attention.
Renaissance style was to throw a soft light on subjects to create tranquil scenes. However, artists of the Baroque period developed the chiaroscuro style, using harsh lighting to create drama and intensity, and oil paint to blend and build up gradual tones.
The more technical usage of the term chiaroscuro is the effect of light modeling in painting, drawing or printmaking, where a three-dimensional volume is suggested by the value Color gradations and the analytical division of light and shadow shapes – often referred to as “shading”.
Chiaroscuro is an Italian term that refers to the intense contrast of light (chiar) and dark (oscuro) in art, famously used in the paintings of Rembrandt or Caravaggio, to create a strong and dramatic to set the mood. It is also known as “Clair Obscur” or “Extreme Low Key”.