Chiaroscuro

Term describing effects of light and shade in a work of art, especially when there is strong contrast between the two. Sometimes a dramatic effect is created in a painting by a shaft of light, which gives sharp shadows like that given by a spotlight.

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The Children of John Taylor of Bifrons Park, by John Closterman, 1696? - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

The Children of John Taylor of Bifrons Park
by John Closterman
1696?
NPG 5320

Sir Christopher Wren, by Elisha Kirkall, after  Henry Cook (Cooke), after  John Closterman, circa 1720-1742 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Sir Christopher Wren
by Elisha Kirkall, after Henry Cook (Cooke), after John Closterman
circa 1720-1742
NPG D18735

The Death of the Earl of Chatham, by John Singleton Copley, 1779-1781 - NPG  - Tate 2013; on loan to the National Portrait Gallery, London

The Death of the Earl of Chatham
by John Singleton Copley
1779-1781
NPG L146

Joan Collins, by Cornel Lucas, 1951 - NPG  - © estate of Cornel Lucas

Joan Collins
by Cornel Lucas
1951
NPG x27871

Christine Keeler, by Lewis Morley, 1963 - NPG  - © Lewis Morley Archive / National Portrait Gallery, London

Christine Keeler
by Lewis Morley
1963
NPG P512(13)

Steve Martland, by Andrew Catlin, June 1989 - NPG  - © Andrew Catlin / National Portrait Gallery, London

Steve Martland
by Andrew Catlin
June 1989
NPG x35991

Linford Christie, by Alistair Morrison, February 1996 - NPG  - © Alistair Morrison

Linford Christie
by Alistair Morrison
February 1996
NPG x77035

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