Video encyclopedia



Tenebrism Explained -- and how it differs from Chiaroscuro


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Caravaggio's Technique


Paul Ingbretson Talks about Caravaggio’s Tenebrism - No. 85


Caravaggio Technique - Chiaroscuro

Tenebrism, from Italian tenebroso, also occasionally called dramatic illumination, is a style of painting using profoundly pronounced chiaroscuro, where there are violent contrasts of light and dark, and where darkness becomes a dominating feature of the image. The technique was developed to add drama to an image through a spotlight effect, and was popular during the Baroque period of painting. Tenebrism is used only to obtain a dramatic impact while chiaroscuro is a broader term, also covering the use of less extreme contrasts of light to enhance the illusion of three-dimensionality.
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  • Baroque 

  • Later development