chiaroscuro

[ kee-ahr-uh-skyoor-oh ]
/ kiˌɑr əˈskyʊər oʊ /

noun, plural chi·a·ro·scu·ros.

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.

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Origin of chiaroscuro

1680–90; <Italian, equivalent to chiaro bright (<Latin clārus) + oscuro dark (<Latin obscūrus). See clear, obscure
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for chiaroscuro

British Dictionary definitions for chiaroscuro

chiaroscuro
/ (kɪˌɑːrəˈskʊərəʊ) /

noun plural -ros

the artistic distribution of light and dark masses in a picture
monochrome painting using light and dark only, as in grisaille

Derived forms of chiaroscuro

chiaroscurist, nounchiaroscurism, noun

Word Origin for chiaroscuro

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