Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Your email address will not be published. An artistic technique developed during the time of the Renaissance, chiaroscuro is the Italian word meaning light-dark. Chiaroscuro lighting is an artistic term dating back to the Renaissance that is noted by the contrast between dark and light. (If you want to learn more about color, make sure to grab my free Color Theory Cheat Sheet). Masters of this technique were the Italians Leonardo da Vinci … The technique focuses on shadows and a single source of light to achieve photorealistic depth and tone. Learn more. The technique was first used in woodcuts in Italy in the 16th century, probably by the printmaker Ugo da Carpi. Chiaroscuro and Rembrandt . Francesco Goya adopted Caravaggio’s more dramatic tenebrism to depict the tension and heightened emotion associated with modern warfare. Another term for this style of chiaroscuro is tenebrism, which comes from the Italian term tenebroso, meaning dark, gloomy or mysterious. The term “chiaroscuro” was coined during the Renaissance to describe its use by painters—“chiaro” meaning light and “scuro” meaning dark. Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. The term chiaroscuro stems from the Italian words chiaro (meaning “clear” or “bright”) and oscuro (meaning “obscure”' or “dark”). It started out as a technical term used by artists to describe their drawings or paintings that showed bold contrast and distinct areas of light and darkness. Another word for chiaroscuro. chiaroscuro pronunciation. In his painting below, an orrery (a mechanical model of the solar system) is illuminated by an oil lamp that is placed at the center of the model to represent the sun. Caravaggio’s tenebrism was so successful that many enthusiastic artists began to mimic his style. Caravaggio and his followers used a harsh, dramatic light to isolate their figures and heighten their emotional tension. Virtuoso such as Rembrandt and Turner would of course often reverse the process either by scratching into the thicker layers of light paint, or draw quickly and with a very light hand over the brighter surfaces. Meaning of Chiaroscuro. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Examples of Chiaroscuro in a sentence. Chiaroscuro lighting has a much greater effect on a black and white film and loses much of its effect if used in a color picture. Leonardo da Vinci was a chiaroscuro master who subsequently pioneered sfumato. Chiaroscuro is a contrasting of light and shade. Easy and well explained subject, very useful! The dramatic effect of chiaroscuro lighting isn’t difficult to achieve. To make a chiaroscuro woodcut, the key block was inked with the darkest tone and printed first. It comes from the combination of … this can be seen in drawings by both Leonardo and Rembrandt and many others. For building up tonal gradations, it is usually most effective to work dark to light. By contrast, Goliath’s severed head, with ribbons of blood still streaming from his neck, is thrust, slightly over-scale, into the lower right foreground. Unlike many other portraits, most of Rembrandt's face is in shadow, with only one side of his face slightly exposed to light. The level of contrast between light and dark helps determine the mood of the painting. …of the colours, the strong chiaroscuro called Tenebrism, and the extraordinary virtuosity with which all the details are rendered. The paper in the subject's hand glows like burnished gold. Chiaroscuro lighting was developed by Leonardo Davinci, Caravaggio, Vermeer, and Rembrandt. Elementary and high school students the man in the subject, Judith, holds her hand to. 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