chiaroscuro

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noun chiar·oscu·ro \-ˈskyu̇r-(ˌ)ō, -ˈsku̇r-\

Definition of chiaroscuro

plural

-ros

  1. 1 :  pictorial representation in terms of light and shade without regard to color

  2. 2a :  the arrangement or treatment of light and dark parts in a pictorial work of art <The artist uses chiaroscuro to create the perception of depth in a two-dimensional work.>b :  the interplay or contrast of dissimilar qualities (as of mood or character)

  3. 3 :  a 16th century woodcut technique involving the use of several blocks to print different tones of the same color; also :  a print made by this technique

  4. 4 :  the interplay of light and shadow on or as if on a surface <a spotlight revealing a chiaroscuro of ridges and craters on a mountainside>

  5. 5 :  the quality of being veiled or partly in shadow

Origin and Etymology of chiaroscuro

Italian, from chiaro clear, light + oscuro obscure, dark


First Known Use: 1686

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WORD OF THE DAY

the art of making engravings on wood

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