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 (kē-är′ə-sko͝or′ō, -skyo͝or′ō)
n. pl. chi·a·ro·scu·ros
1. The technique of using light and shade in pictorial representation.
2. The arrangement of light and dark elements in a pictorial work of art.
a. A woodcut technique in which several blocks are used to print different shades of a color.
b. A woodcut print made by this technique. In all senses also called claire-obscure.

[Italian : chiaro, bright, light (from Latin clārus, clear; see kelə- in Indo-European roots) + oscuro, dark (from Latin obscūrus; see (s)keu- in Indo-European roots).]

chi·a′ro·scu′rist n.


n, pl -ros
1. (Art Terms) the artistic distribution of light and dark masses in a picture
2. (Art Terms) monochrome painting using light and dark only, as in grisaille
[C17: from Italian, from chiaro clear + oscuro obscure]
chiˌaroˈscurism n
chiˌaroˈscurist n


(kiˌɑr əˈskyʊər oʊ, -ˈskʊər oʊ)

n., pl. -ros.
1. the distribution of light and shade in a picture.
2. the use of deep variations in and subtle gradations of light and shade, esp. to enhance the delineation of character and for general dramatic effect.
3. a woodcut print in which the colors are produced by the use of different blocks with different colors.
[1680–90; < Italian, =chiaro bright (< Latin clārus) + oscuro dark (< Latin obscūrus). See clear, obscure]

chiaroscuro, chiarooscuro

a technique of painting or drawing using light and shade to achieve a three-dimensional quality. — chiaroscurist, n.
See also: Drawing


(Italian, “light-dark”) (1) The rendering of light and shade in a painting. (2) The subtle gradations and marked variations of light and shade for dramatic effect. (3) A woodcut print produced from two blocks.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.chiaroscuro - a monochrome picture made by using several different shades of the same color
grisaille - chiaroscuro painting or stained glass etc., in shades of grey imitating the effect of relief
ikon, picture, icon, image - a visual representation (of an object or scene or person or abstraction) produced on a surface; "they showed us the pictures of their wedding"; "a movie is a series of images projected so rapidly that the eye integrates them"


[kɪˌɑːrəsˈkʊərəʊ] Nclaroscuro m


[kiˌærəˈskʊərəʊ] nclair-obscur m


nChiaroscuro nt, → Helldunkel nt