I fully intend a post or two from the works of French Romanticist Eugène Delacroix, but today he does not inspire. I  chanced upon this exemplary photo composition simply entitled  “chiaroscuro.” Its balance is perfect.

My eye travels along the paralleled tiles up the stairs towards the light as the heavy weight of the black wall on the right pulls me towards it and then to the stark light of the window adjacent to the door which brings my eye to travel along the paralleled tiles up the stairs towards the light …

“chiaroscuro,” by Horatio (2010), dpnow.com

Chiaroscuro\, Chia`ro*scu”ro\, Chiaro-oscuro\, Chi*a”ro-os*cu”ro\, n. [It., clear dark.] (a) The arrangement of light and dark parts in a work of art, such as a drawing or painting, whether in monochrome or in colour. (b) The art or practice of so arranging the light and dark parts as to produce a harmonious effect.


Update: Videographer Tom Layne counters my clockwise description of movement with technical expertise on where the “human eye first focuses on before it begins its flow along the composition.”

The bottom left corner of the window looks like it’s at  (co-ordinates) 0,0 if 0 is the center. So it pattern then pulls us down and then leads us up and left to the stairs that also go up. In Western society we read from left to right and gravity pulls us down, so when we create an composition that pulls the eye from right to the left and from down to up it creates tension emotionally in the viewer because it is making us move our eyes the opposite of what is natural to us.


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