Chiaroscuro (Italian for light dark) is a stylistic device that uses strong contrast to give volume to a subject as well as emphasise areas of a painting to ram home the story or to increase the horror, delight, fear or sadness that the artist hopes to convey. Carravaggio developed the use of dramatic Chiaroscuro into Tenebrism where the dark areas are dominant and there is little mid tone for added impact!

The Painting shown is 'The Taking of Christ' by Caravaggio which is an excellent example of the device.