- the distribution of light and shade in a picture.
- Painting. the use of deep variations in and subtle gradations of light and shade, especially to enhance the delineation of character and for general dramatic effect: Rembrandt is a master of chiaroscuro.
- a woodcut print in which the colors are produced by the use of different blocks with different colors.
- a sketch in light and shade.
Origin of chiaroscuro
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for chiaroscuro
This chiaroscuro portrait, intended only to sell underwear, comes alarmingly close to capturing the man.Will the Real Jim Palmer Please Stand Up
September 27, 2014
No chiaroscuro is so difficult as this; and none so noble, chaste, or impressive.Modern Painters Volume I (of V)
I was in train to interpret for Ma'moiselle the chiaroscuro.The Pigeon (Third Series Plays)
In chiaroscuro, and in delicacy of execution he is not inferior to his master.Six Centuries of Painting
Thus they were familiar with chiaroscuro before the European painters.Chinese Painters
The typical German chiaroscuro was therefore from two blocks.John Baptist Jackson
- the artistic distribution of light and dark masses in a picture
- monochrome painting using light and dark only, as in grisaille
C17: from Italian, from chiaro clear + oscuro obscure
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for chiaroscuro
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper