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Chiaroscuro in art is “an Italian term which literally means ‘light-dark’. In paintings the description refers to clear tonal contrasts which are often used to suggest the volume and modelling of the subjects depicted”.

Further specialized uses include chiaroscuro woodcut, for coloured woodcuts printed with different blocks, each using a different coloured ink; and chiaroscuro drawing for drawings on coloured paper with drawing in a dark medium and white highlighting. Similar effects in the lighting of cinema and photography are also chiaroscuro.


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