Grandeur of effect is produced by two different ways which seem entirely opposed to each other. One is by reducing the colors to little more than chiaroscuro... and the other, by making the colors very distinct and forcible... but still, the presiding principle of both those manners is simplicity.
In each of us lie good and bad, light and dark, art and pain, choice and regret, cruelty and sacrifice. We're each of us our own chiaroscuro, our own bit of illusion fighting to emerge into something solid, something real. We've got to forgive ourselves that. I must remember to forgive myself. Because there is a lot of grey to work with. No one can live in the light all the time.
Although the noise of the chattering clientele is much more significant than the topics of their chatter, it does finally constitute that type of social and indistinct expression that we refer to as rhubarb. The very particular volume in which people tell each other their news seems to generate all by itself that acoustic chiaroscuro, a sounding murk, in which every communication seems to lose its edges, truth projects the shadow of a lie, and a statement seems to resemble its opposite.
The music began, passages of immense technical complexity fluidly bridging Caravaggio's chiaroscuro with Renoir's impressionism. The gloom and shadows of claustrophobic chambers contrasting with the vibrant radiance of a wide-open landscape. The realism of humanity down to its dirty nails and rotten wounds combined with the fleeting sanguinity of the moment.
He [the artist] ought to have 'these powerful organs of expression' - colour and chiaroscuro - entirely at his command, that he may use them in every possible form, as well as that he may do with the most perfect freedom; therefore, whether he wishes to make the subject of a joyous, solemn, or meditative character, by flinging over it the cheerful aspect which the sun bestows, by a proper disposition of shade, or by the appearances that beautify its arising or its setting, a true "General Effect" should never be lost sight of.
To my mind's eye, my buried memories of Brandham Hall are like effects of chiaroscuro, patches of light and dark: it is only with effort that I see them in terms of colour. There are things I know, though I don't know how I know them, and things that I remember. Certain things are established in my mind as facts, but no picture attaches to them; on the other hand there are pictures unverified by any fact which recur obsessively, like the landscape of a dream.
There are those hearts, reader, that never mend again once they are broken. Or if they do mend, they heal themselves in a crooked and lopsided way, as if sewn together by a careless craftsman. Such was the fate of Chiaroscuro. His heart was broken. Picking up the spoon and placing it on his head, speaking of revenge, these things helped him to put his heart together again. But it was, alas, put together wrong.
Shakespeare's ambiguous lubricity in Venus is less disturbing than the bleakly moral emphasis of Lucrece, where virtue is so low-spirited, its exclamation so lachrymose and its justification the nasty realpolitik of Roman Republicanism. The sun has not dried the dew on the grass in Venus, but the ill-lit world of Livy's Rome darkens Lucrece. The first poem lives out of doors; the second is in a permanent chiaroscuro.
You should regard each meeting with a friend as a sitting he is unwillingly giving you for a portrait - a portrait that, probably, when you or he die, will still be unfinished. And, though this is an absorbing pursuit, nevertheless, the painters are apt to end pessimists. For however handsome and merry may be the face, however rich may be the background, in the first rough sketch of each portrait, yet with every added stroke of the brush, with ever modification of the chiaroscuro, the eyes looking out at you grow more disquieting. And, finally, it is your own face that you are staring at in terror, as in a mirror by candlelight, when all the house is still.
Out in Saxe-Coburg Street she stood still for a moment and looked at the gardens. He kissed me, she thought. He made the move; I didn't. The thought was an overwhelming one and invested the everyday world about her, the world of the square, of trees, of people walking by, with a curious glow, a chiaroscuro which made everything precious. It was the feeling, she imagined, that one had when one vouchsafed a vision. Everything is changed, becomes more blessed, making the humblest of surroundings a holy place.
Alexander McCall Smith
She was not suicidal; that is what people never managed to grasp. Cutting relieved the pressure and stood as some enduring demonstration of her emotion, some way to be in control of a body that could toss her about with seizures. It was borderline artistic to mark her body, chiaroscuro designs in blood. Dying is the last thing she would want, like any healthy organism. A little pain, a small invoked sting trailing her arm, brought her much closer to grounded when she could not keep her head from racing, her thoughts from consuming her with obsession. An ounce of liquid weight loss and she could go back to being herself again. Usually.
it is never safe to classify the souls of one's neighbors; one is apt, in the long run, to be proved a fool. You should regard each meeting with a friend as a sitting he is unwillingly giving you for a portrait - a portrait that, probably, when you or he die, will still be unfinished. And, though this is an absorbing pursuit, nevertheless, the painters are apt to end pessimists. For however handsome and merry may be the face, however rich the background, in the first rough sketch of each portrait, yet with every added stroke of the brush, with every tiny readjustment of the 'values, ' with every modification of the chiaroscuro, the eyes looking out at you grow more disquieting. And, finally, it is your own face that you are staring at in terror, as in a mirror by candle-light, when all the house is still.
Often, beyond the next turning, footfalls of a herd galloping across stone were heard, or further in the distance, with reassuring grunts, a wild boar could be seen, trotting with steady stride along the edge of the road with her sow and a whole procession of young in tow. And then one's heart beat faster upon advancing a little into the subtle light: one might have said that the path had suddenly become wild, thick with grass, its dark paving-slabs engulfed by nettles, blackthorn and sloe, so that it mingled up time past rather than crossing country-side, and perhaps it was going to issue forth, in the chiaroscuro of thicket smelling of moistened down and fresh grass, into one of those glades where animals spoke to men.
Forgiveness. The frail beauty of the world takes root in me as I make my way back through the woods, past the caves and the ravine, where the earth has accepted the flesh of the deer, leaving nothing but a bone or two, peeking above Kartik's makeshift grave, to prove that any of this ever happened. Soon, they'll be gone too. But forgiveness... I'll hold on to that fragile slice of hope and keep it close remembering that in each of us lie good and bad, light and dark, art and pain, choice and regret. cruelty and sacrifice. We're each of us our own chiaroscuro, our own bit of illusion fighting to emerge into something solid, something real. We've got to forgive ourselves that. I must remember to forgive myself. Because there's an awful lot of gray to work with. No one can live in the light all the time.
On westminster Bridge, Arthur was struck by the brightness of the streetlamps running across like a formation of stars. They shone white against the black coats of the marching gentlefold and fuller than the moon against the fractal spires of Westminster. They were, Arthur quickly realized, the new electric lights, which the city government was installing, avenue by avenue, square by square, in place of the dirty gas lamps that had lit London's public spaces for a century. These new electric ones were brighter. They were cheaper. They required less maintenance. And they shone farther into the dime evening, exposing every crack in the pavement, every plump turtle sheel of stone underfoot. So long to the faint chiaroscuro of London, to the ladies and gentlemen in black-on-black relief. So long to the era of mist and carbonized Newcastle coal, to the stench of the Blackfriars foundry. Welcome to the cleasing glare of the twentieth century.