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Word of the Day
Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Definitions for chiaroscuro

  1. the distribution of light and shade in a picture.
  2. 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.
  3. a woodcut print in which the colors are produced by the use of different blocks with different colors.

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Citations for chiaroscuro
…film noir genealogies usually reduce Weimar cinema to German expressionism and German expressionism in turn to a catalogue of techniques including: 'foregrounded oblique objected, unbalanced compositions, irregular spatial arrangements, chiaroscuro lighting with a heavy play of shadows…' Mark Bould, Film Noir: From Berlin to Sin City, 2005
To any translator, the text of Beowulf is, by necessity, a chiaroscuro; in the general darkness there will be swards of light, runs of lines more easily accessible to his intelligence than others. Marc Hudson, "Commentary: The Act of Translation," Beowulf, 2007
Origin of chiaroscuro
1680-1690
Chiaroscuro comes from the Italian words for "bright," chiaro, and "dark," oscuro. It entered English in the late 1600s.