Getting More From Art – Tenebrism
Chiaroscuro is a term used to describe an image with exaggerated contrast between light and dark. It was a method of painting developed during the renaissance by artists such as Tintoretto and was very effective in modeling images to look 3D. Probably the artist most associated with this technique was a fellow named Caravaggio. His style, called Tenebrism, took the contrast between light and dark to such an extreme that everything but the subject of the composition is obscured or heavily opaque. Where early practitioners sought the feeling of divine light on the subject (religion and mythology were the main themes of most early renaissance paintings), Caravaggio and his followers used it more as a local lighting for dramatic effect (usually a candle or lamp). If you like history, this might be a good subject to Google up on. Wikipedia has a very nice introductory article on the subject.
Using the same image as the last post, here is my rendition of chiaroscuro in a photographic composition. Hopefully, if you look up some of the great masters of the art, you will look at my humble creation and say I got it right.
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The four canonical painting modes of the Renaissance were Cangiante, Chiaroscuro, Unione, and Sfumato. The most prominent practitioner of sfumato was Leonardo da Vinci, and it is very evident in the Mona Lisa. I personally believe the more you know about art, the more you enjoy life.