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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
References in classic literature ?
Followed as he followed it, with a skilful reticence, in a kind of social chiaroscuro, it was still possible for the polite to call him a professional painter.
Joe and Delia met in an atelier where a number of art and music students had gathered to discuss chiaroscuro, Wagner, music, Rembrandt's works, pictures, Waldteufel, wall paper, Chopin and Oolong.
Wakem had not other sons beside Philip; but toward them he held only a chiaroscuro parentage, and provided for them in a grade of life duly beneath his own.
Malmquist's immersive prose perfectly limns the demands of living within the chiaroscuro of deep grief.
In workaday free verse, she allows the frightening chiaroscuro watercolor paintings to come to the forefront.
Delaroche painted using a chiaroscuro technique to create light and shadow.
to "Night Shift" in the form of artistic proposals playing on the chiaroscuro of late afternoons.
Hence this unflinching and bittersweetly incisive self-portrait of Charo in chiaroscuro.
His topics are the paradoxes of life in the shadow of the bomb, the return of the crime-fighting hero the Shadow in late-1950s literature, Allen Ginsberg's and Jack Kerouac's struggles to reclaim the American unconsciousness, the disappearing figure in postwar photography, chiaroscuro in late film noir, and The Twilight Zone's visual critique of the Cold War.
Their story is played out through panels using chiaroscuro alternating from white explosive flashes denoting violence to jagged shards of lines and bold sound effects bursting out of the frame depicting pain and anger to softer grey shading for romantic and intimate close ups (which are tastefully portrayed).
This hypothesis proposes that resonator convergence assists in establishing the desired classical chiaroscuro timbre, which manifests in a depth-dependent singer's formant cluster.
Chiaroscuro is defined as the "pictorial representation in terms of light and shade without regard to color, and the arrangement or treatment of light and dark parts in a pictorial work of art.