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chiaroscuro (kee-ar-uh-SKYOOR-o) noun
The treatment of light and shade in a work of art, especially to give an illusion of depth.
Also known as claire-obscure.
[From Italian, from chiaro (clear, light) + oscuro (obscure, dark).]
"Besides their skill in capturing human emotions, another impressive
aspect of Rembrandt's prints is their use of shadow and light and
their mastery of chiaroscuro."
"The chiaroscuro caricatures of America drawn during a close and
compelling election campaign suggest that the most pressing problem
after the votes are cast will not be the litigious lawyers (are there
any other kind?) but the lingering external preconceptions about the
US that have hardly been given more colour and depth over the past
This week we feature words related to art made with paints and brushes and multimedia. These words describe concepts from the world of art but many of them can be used figuratively, as metaphors in contexts unrelated to art.
The closing years of life are like the end of a masquerade party, when the masks are dropped. -Arthur Schopenhauer, philosopher (1788-1860)