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Video transcript

[Music] if you want your painting or your drawing to look realistic to look naturalistic to look like the observable world then a technique that art historians call modeling or chiaroscuro is critical here oscura means simply light and dark and what we're talking about is the modulation or the transition from light to dark when we look at around object in space parts of it will be more brightly illuminated and parts of it especially as they move away from us will be more in shade and the ability to render that on a two-dimensional surface on a canvas can create the illusion of volume and mass of a thing in space and here we're looking at Tish ins Venus of Urbino this lovely nude reclining on a bed and we immediately get the sense that this is a three dimensional body look for instance at her right thigh it's bright at the top but as the knee turns it turns to shadow it doesn't do it sharply but as a result her shin seems to recede into space or we can even follow the line of her thigh down toward the bed and see how it moves from brighter illumination into shadow no Titian was able to achieve this with such delicacy because he's using oil paint which allows for a very fine modulation of tone but we see this with Renaissance artists going back for example to Giotto all the way through the artists of the high Renaissance the artists of the Venetian Renaissance like Titian if we looked back at earlier medieval representations in Italy we would often see the line used to define the folds or the bunching of drapery but here if you look at the sheet under the figure you can see that he's used only light and shadow to create the folds and creases in that cloth and that older a linear way of representing the three dimensions of drapery is not as naturalistic as this use of modeling or chiaroscuro that we see in the Renaissance and there you have it chiaroscuro [Music] you
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