The use of Chiaroscuro

This gallery is focused on the technique called Chiaroscuro. Chiaroscuro is the use of contrast between light and dark to emphasize and illuminate important figures in a painting or drawing. It was first introduced during the Renaissance. It was originally used while drawing on colored paper though it is now used in paintings and even cinema. It is very commonly seen in religious art, especially with the light emanating from the holy figure being painted. This process is used because it naturally draws the eye toward the focus point which the artist intends in a very natural way. Some excellent examples of this are given in the following gallery.  

The Abduction of Europa is an example of Chiaroscuro. It splits the painting symmetrically down from the top left to the bottom right.
While the Last Day of Pompeii doesn't split the painting, Chiaroscuro clearly emphasizes the middle of the painting.
Leaving the Masked Ball gives the viewer a since that the "party" and entertainment is within. This painting makes the viewer want to go in from the dark and see the beauty within.
Christ on the Cross is a perfect example of the classic Chiaroscuro in religious use. Everything besides Christ is almost black, but Christ is a blaring white figure.
This painting shows the stark contrast between the light of the moon, with the darkness of the trees. The view of Castle Kostverloren is almost missed, except for the moon drawing you toward the back of the painting
This is a example gives a counter example of the generic Chiaroscuro. Instead of the light being the focus, the viewer notices the people, only because they are so dark in contrast to the pure snow.
In this image the moon is used again. But this time it is used to give the image a greater sense of depth. Without this contrast, the amount of sheep would be lost and the distance would barely be noticed.
Perhaps one of the most stunning contrasts, this painting leaves the viewer with no choice but to notice the contrast. It is this contrast which is so enticing. It leaves the viewer wondering if the painting is calling for hope, in the light on the left or showing the looming destruction in the right side.
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This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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