» Chiaroscuro – Dramatic Lighting in Painting, Photography, and Cinema
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Chiaroscuro – Dramatic Lighting in Painting, Photography, and Cinema



Painting of David holding Goliath’s head by Caravaggio


A form of art that emphasizes the Greatest Area of Contrast (GAC) is Chiaroscuro, a word I still can’t pronounce correctly to this day. It has a few meanings, but what I’ll be covering is how it describes strong contrasts of light and dark in a composition, whether it be a painting, photograph, or even cinema. It later turned into a style called Tenebrism (from the Italian word Tenebroso meaning murky) in which Carravagio was the major contributor. Here are some examples of Chiaroscuro by some great artists.

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