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tenebrism Line breaks: tene|brism
Pronunciation: /ˈtɛnəbrɪz(ə)m/

Entry from British & World English dictionary

Definition of tenebrism in English:


[mass noun]
A style of painting developed by Caravaggio and other 17th-century Spanish and Italian artists, characterized by predominantly dark tones and shadows with dramatically contrasting effects of light.
Example sentences
  • His stay in Italy, where he encountered Caravaggesque naturalism and tenebrism, was decisive for his art.
  • For him, tenebrism fit the general category of ‘furtive painting’, a style that was intended to conceal shortcomings by means of cloaking shadows.
  • Caravaggio revolutionized Baroque painting with a technique called tenebrism.


Example sentences
  • His first works were painted in a naturalistic and tenebrist style.
  • She creates a tenebrist tableau of brilliant whites and jet blacks.
  • He was at his best as a tenebrist.


From Italian tenebroso 'dark' + -ism.

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