chiaroscuro

noun chiar·oscu·ro \ -ˈskyu̇r-(ˌ)ō , -ˈsku̇r- \
Updated on: 7 Nov 2017

Definition of chiaroscuro

plural -ros
1 :pictorial representation in terms of light and shade without regard to color
2 a :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 :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 :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 :the quality of being veiled or partly in shadow

Recent Examples of chiaroscuro from the Web

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Origin and Etymology of chiaroscuro

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

Other Fine Arts Terms


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