noun, often capitalized
ten·​e·​brism | \ ˈte-nə-ˌbri-zəm How to pronounce tenebrism (audio) \

Definition of tenebrism

: a style of painting especially associated with the Italian painter Caravaggio and his followers in which most of the figures are engulfed in shadow but some are dramatically illuminated by a beam of light usually from an identifiable source

Other Words from tenebrism

tenebrist \ ˈte-​nə-​brist How to pronounce tenebrism (audio) \ noun or adjective, often capitalized

Examples of tenebrism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Combining tenebrism with real-life models, heightened naturalism and tight, tumultuous spaces, Caravaggio brought pictorial storytelling to an unprecedented pitch of intensity. Washington Post, 4 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tenebrism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of tenebrism

1954, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tenebrism

probably borrowed from Italian tenebrismo, from tenebroso tenebrous + -ism -ism

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The first known use of tenebrism was in 1954

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Cite this Entry

“Tenebrism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tenebrism. Accessed 1 Dec. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on tenebrism

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tenebrism


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