An Italian term that refers to the contrasts of light and dark in a painting. This means that the forms are not defined by contouring lines but rather by the juxtaposition of light and dark areas. Caravaggio was one of the masters best known for his bold use of chiaroscuro. He lit his figures from a single, usually hidden, source to create theatrical effects that enhanced the drama of his scenes—his purpose to appeal to the senses or to solicit religious devotion from the faithful. In his Calling of St. Matthew (1599-1600) in the Contarelli Chapel at San Luigi dei Francesi, Rome, for instance, he set his figures against a dark background, lighting only the main protagonists in strategic places to call attention to the significance of the moment when Christ invites the saint to join him.

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

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  • chiaroscuro — [kē är΄ə skoor′ō, kē är΄əskyoor′ō] n. pl. chiaroscuros [It, lit., clear dark < L clarus, CLEAR + obscurus, dark: see OBSCURE] 1. light and shade in a painting, drawing, etc. treated so as to produce the illusion of depth, a dramatic effect,… …   English World dictionary

  • Chiaroscuro — Chia ro*scu ro, ||Chiaro oscuro Chi*a ro os*cu ro, n. [It., clear dark.] (a) The arrangement of light and dark parts in a work of art, such as a drawing or painting, whether in monochrome or in color. (b) The art or practice of so arranging the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Chiaroscuro — (ital.), so v.w. Claireobscure …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Chiaroscūro — (ital., spr. kja ), s. Clair obscur …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Chiaroscuro — Chiaroscuro, s. Holzschneidekunst …   Lexikon der gesamten Technik

  • Chiaroscuro — Chiāroscūro (ital., spr. ki ), s. Helldunkel …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Chiaroscuro —   [k , italienisch] das, (s), das in Malerei und Grafik angewandte Helldunkel.   * * * Chi|a|ros|cu|ro [k...], das; [s] [ital., aus: chiaro = hell u. oscuro = dunkel]: Helldunkelmalerei …   Universal-Lexikon

  • chiaroscuro — s.m. [grafia unita di chiaro scuro ] (pl. chiaroscuri ). 1. (artist.) [tecnica pittorica e grafica con la quale si rendono le sfumature di luce presenti in un corpo accentuandone i rilievi]. 2. (estens.) [giustapposizione di luci e ombre]… …   Enciclopedia Italiana

  • chiaroscuro — 1680s, disposition of light and dark in a picture, lit. clear dark, from It. chiaro (from L. clarus) + oscuro (from L. obscurus) …   Etymology dictionary

  • chiaroscuro — (izg. kjȃroskūro) m DEFINICIJA lik. međusobni odnos svijetlih i tamnih dijelova slike, svjetla i sjene, naročito izražen i tražen efekt u baroknom slikarstvu; svijetlo tamno, clair obscur ETIMOLOGIJA tal …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • chiaroscuro — ► NOUN ▪ the treatment of light and shade in drawing and painting. ORIGIN Italian, from chiaro clear, bright + oscuro dark, obscure …   English terms dictionary

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