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Light & Dark

Transcript: He used very dark shadows that would blend into very dark backgrounds. He also used very little “grey area”. The contrast was mostly a harsh clash between dark and light values. Caravaggio’s lighting style was inspired by his tragic life. He has murdered someone in his lifetime, and reflected his feelings through dark and intense pieces. Caravaggio lit his scenes with dramatic lighting coming from a shaft of light emanating from a constricted (and often unseen) source. In Caravaggio’s work, the light areas held the most detail while the dark areas contained subtle detail and little interest. He developed a technique called tenebrism which would affect the style of the entire baroque period. Like Chiaroscuro, tenebrism exaggerates the light and dark values within a piece. Rembrandt All three artists, masters of light and dark, made valuable contributions of different lighting techniques to their eras. Da Vinci contributed Chiaroscuro, Caravaggio contributed tenebrism, and Rembrandt shared the Rembrandt Technique. All three of these artists were very influential upon each other and inspirational for artists of the future. It was these three artists among many others that influenced and brought ground breaking discoveries about light and dark values to the art world Born: July 15, 1606, Leiden, Netherlands Under the influence of Caravaggio as a fellow Baroque artist from Holland and Flanders, Rembrandt van Rijn practiced and perfected tenebrism and chiaroscuro. He used these lighting techniques to achieve dramatic intensity, rhythmic visual harmony, and psychological depth within a piece. Rembrandt created moods of gloom or enthusiasm through light alone. He took an expressive approach to light and dark. He used dark shadows in the faces of his subjects to identify lines and crevices. The deep shading in the face can set the nature of the subject’s thoughts. Rembrandt painted light differently from other traditional Dutch artists. His shadows tended to pick off of the background and his light was not lighting obscure space; it underlined details and hid others in half light. He was also known as a master of light and dark. Rembrandt used light and shadow to create ultimate realism. It is because of this that critics may argue that Rembrandt preferred ugliness to beauty. Like his fellow light and dark masters, Rembrandt had a signature lighting technique that he created called the Rembrandt Technique. The less laminated side of the face would have a “triangle” of light. INTRO ABOUT The light focuses mainly on three figures. Captain Cocq, the Lieutenant, and the small girl. The other figures are overlapped in shadow. This can also show depth. The shadow figures have darker clothes to bring out the light on the areas of emphasis, aka Captain Cocq. The Rembrandt Technique is used on the Captain’s face. Only St. Peter’s face is illuminated. The other faces that are not as relevant to the piece as Peter’s are hidden in shadow. A spotlight effect focuses on St. Peter which amplifies the use of tenebrism, as well as the near black background. Supper at Emmaus Cast shadows show Caravaggio’s use of tenebrism as well as the stage lighting. MONA LISA The light source comes from a window which shows harsh shadows. In this piece, it is very clear to see Leonardo’s range of values go from black, to colour, to white. The dark background also enhances the figure in the piece. BENOIS MADONNA Born: September 29, 1571, Milan, Italy Da Vinci’s innovation and talent spread forwards into the Baroque era where Michelangelo Merisi, also known as Caravaggio, was the leading artist. Caravaggio’s lighting techniques are reminiscent of the Renaissance and Mannerist eras. Light and Dark add realism to a piece NIGHT WATCH Caravaggio OLD MAN IN RED Light & Dark Born: April 15, 1452, Vinci, Italy His great knowledge in math and science tied in with and expanded his knowledge of light and darks in art. He was inspired by the works of art from Greco-Roman artists, and developed a technique called Chiaroscuro which is the exaggeration of light and dark values within a piece. “Clothe your subjects lightly, as dark clothes will mix with the dark shadows, and they will be lost.” His focus in his paintings was not on colour, but on a range of values. His range went from darkest blacks, to the base colour tone, to near white CONCLUSION ABOUT Portrait of a Lady The dramatic lighting and range of values really enhance the figure The dark background blends into the shadows of the figure. Here Rembrandt uses light and dark to create crevices in his face to show age. The dim light source used can reflect the man’s thoughts. Perhaps he is reflecting on something. The Rembrandt Technique is also used on his face. RETURN OF THE PRODIGAL SON Harsh values enhance the focus of the piece, which is the figure of the woman. The dark clothes and hair against the light background is another great example of his use of chiaroscuro within the piece. Da Vinci developed

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