Chiaroscuro is an Italian term used to describe an art form that makes distinct contrasts between light and dark. It is used to create depth, can can be found in many mediums, including paintings, models, and woodcuts. It is the latter of the three that the Royal Academy of Arts is currently exploring. Renaissance Impressions runs until the 8th June, and is the opportunity to discover the lost art of Chiaroscuro woodcuts from the 16th century. The technique is believed to have been invented by the German, Lucas Cranach, in 1507, but some claim that he stole the idea from Emperor Maximilian.
A Chiaroscuro woodcut is when an Old Master painting is carved into a wooden block, and then painted in distinctive colours. Tickets to the exhibition are £10, and you will get to see carvings inspired by great Renaissance artists such as Parmigianino, Raphael, and Titian. A hundred and fifty of the rarest Chiaroscuro woodcuts have been selected for display, many featuring biblical, mythical, and legendary scenes, such as Perseus slaying Medusa and Aeneas fleeing Troy.
If you would like to learn more, you can attend weekly tours and spotlight tours: Tuesday 2.30pm, Friday 7pm, Thursday 3pm. There will also be a lecture on the 19th May and 6th June.