“At the end of darkness, there is light” is a quote from one of my works-in-progress – part of a dialogue between two characters. My protagonist originally says: At the end of light, there is always darkness. Her companion corrects her – a sort of glass half full thing. This reminded me of an element that draws me to specific artworks and often turns up in my photography – chiaroscurro.
Chiaroscurro (from the Italian – light-dark) is ‘the use of strong contrast between light and dark‘, often using one light source to create a 3-D effect. The term is often used in art, cinema and photography. Leonardo da Vinci is credited as the pioneer in chiaroscurro. His paintings, The Mona Lisa, and Benois Madonna are just two examples of the style. The Matchmaker by Gerrit van Honthorst is later example.
Today I’m sharing some photos I’ve taken, inspired by Leonardo and chiaroscurro.
There is something about this contrast – something I find fascinating. Light caresses the object, accentuating it’s features.
What is hiding in the shadows?
Yet there is light to illuminate our way.
The contradiction of light and dark fires my imagination and offers hope. To me, anyway.
My Dearheart reminded me that I seem to look for this contrast in music as well – such as the serenity vs growled warning in Disturb’s version of Sounds of Silence, the vocal gymnastics of Kate Bush, quirky notes and stanzas in various other songs.
While fact checking for this blog, I found a quote attributed to Leonardo da Vinci:
The beginnings and ends of shadow lie between the light and darkness and may be infinitely diminished and infinitely increased. Shadow is the means by which bodies display their form. The forms of bodies could not be understood in detail but for shadow.
– Leonardo da Vinci
I must have heard this quote before, possibly in my high school art class (where I fell in love with Leonardos’s work). The memory must have surfaced when I was writing the dialogue the character’s dialogue. Come to think of it, the story focuses on the light and dark of human nature. It seems I like chiaroscurro in my writing as well.
photos (c) 2009-2016 Karen J Carlisle.
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