Rembrandt Harmenszoon von Rijn’s “Man with the Golden Helmet,” 1560-1665, housed in the Berlin National Museum, is a good example of the use of chiaroscuro or dark and light. It is also a good example of the use of the Golden section.
According to Wikipedia “[c]hiaroscuro originated during the Renaissance as drawing on coloured paper, where the artist worked from the paper’s base tone towards light using white gouache, and towards dark using ink, bodycolour (a color that lasts) or watercolour.
By and large, we no longer use coloured paper. We use pale, usually white, paper. However, the above description is particularly interesting in that it gives the impression that the light area has been dug out of darkness. In the case of Charles Jacque‘s Marie, the dark areas are carved out of a white background. It is a process akin to making a cameo, or the reverse.El Greco), that is the part we see. Sacred and Profane Love, 1602–1603 Giovanni Baglione (1566 – 30 December 1643)