American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The technique of using light and shade in pictorial representation.
- n. The arrangement of light and dark elements in a pictorial work of art.
- n. A woodcut technique in which several blocks are used to print different shades of a color.
- n. A woodcut print made by this technique.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Light and shade; specifically, the general distribution of light and shade in a picture, whether painted, drawn, or engraved— that is, the combined effect of all its lights, shadows, and reflections. Strictly speaking, however, every object on which light strikes has its own chiaroscuro.
- n. A drawing in black and white.
- n. A method of printing engravings from several blocks representing lighter and darker shades, used especially in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries; also, an engraving so printed.
- Of or pertaining to light and shade in painting, drawing, or engraving.
- Also clair-obscure, clare-obscure.
- n. A style of painting on enameled pottery practised by the Italian potters.
- n. art An artistic technique developed during the Renaissance, referring to the use of exaggerated light contrasts in order to create the illusion of volume.
- n. art A monochrome picture made by using several different shades of the same color.
- n. art The use of blocks of wood of different colors in a woodcut.
- n. photography A photographic technique in which one side of a face (for example) is well lit and the other is in shadow.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The arrangement of light and dark parts in a work of art, such as a drawing or painting, whether in monochrome or in color.
- n. The art or practice of so arranging the light and dark parts as to produce a harmonious effect. Cf. clair-obscur.
- n. a monochrome picture made by using several different shades of the same color
- Italian, from chiaro ("light") + oscuro ("dark") (Wiktionary)
- Italian : chiaro, bright, light (from Latin clārus, clear; see kelə-2 in Indo-European roots) + oscuro, dark (from Latin obscūrus; see (s)keu- in Indo-European roots). (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Caravaggio's trademark "chiaroscuro" - dramatic dark-light contrasts - and revolutionary use of realism are explored at the Scuderie del Quirinale, an exhibition space created from former stables of Italy's presidential palace.”
“This was written when I was still figuring out that whole linearity thing, and it's rather chiaroscuro, which is to say what's here is pretty good, but a great deal is left unstated.”
“Self-Portrait In Barbecue Heaven" Dutch artist Pieter Johannes van Harmenszoon used the technique known as chiaroscuro, which features subtle gradations of light and shade for dramatic effect.”
“Gautier does not seem to mean this in any Cartesian sense but rather uses a literal form of the artistic term chiaroscuro as the basis of his explanation.”
“Here he also met Count Antonio Maria Zanetti, who was well-known as a chiaroscuro woodcutter besides being a collector and patron of the arts.”
“This is the way in which the light and shadow are arranged, or what a critic would call the chiaroscuro of the picture.”
“Neuwirth is drawn to people who at best can be described as chiaroscuro.”
“Caravaggio pioneered the Baroque painting technique of contrasting light and dark known as chiaroscuro but was famous for his wild lifestyle - he is said to have killed a man in a brawl and fled Rome.”
“Caravaggio pioneered the Baroque painting technique known as chiaroscuro, in which light and shadow are sharply contrasted and the discovery of his remains comes just days after a six month exhibition marking his death ended in Rome.”
“Nor has there been wanting one who has had the enterprise to execute with wood-blocks prints that possess the appearance of having been made with the brush after the manner of chiaroscuro, which is an ingenious and difficult thing.”
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