Chiaroscuro is an artistic technique that involves the use of strong contrasts between light and dark to create depth, volume, and a sense of three-dimensionality in a two-dimensional work, such as a painting or drawing. The term comes from the Italian words "chiaro," meaning light or clear, and "scuro," meaning dark or obscure.
This technique has been used by many artists throughout history, but it became particularly prominent during the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Some of the most famous examples of chiaroscuro can be found in the works of artists like Caravaggio, Rembrandt, and Leonardo da Vinci. These artists used chiaroscuro to create dramatic effects, emphasize certain elements within their compositions, and convey a sense of mood and atmosphere.