Italian Chiaroscuro

The concept of "chiaroscuro" in renaissance art is the study of light and darkness, the contrast between brightness and shade and the affect they have on shapes and forms. I first heard of chiaroscuro in my college Painting I class, where we studied the masters who used this concept frequently in their work. My favorite of these masters was Caravaggio; he captured chiaroscuro perfectly and I spent hours pouring over and trying to recreate the effect in my own paintings. 

Louise of Taylor and Porter was inspired to use the concept of chiaroscuro in a bridal fashion shoot in Italy over the summer, and the result is a completely stunning set of photos that capture the brilliance of the Italian light perfectly. The venue was a gorgeous villa full of lavish paintings and beautiful carvings. There are old-world detailed everywhere, and the setting is positively dripping with history and grace!

Lacy Geary, who styled and designed the shoot, chose two dresses that worked wonderfully with the concept of light and shadow; one dress sparkles and shimmers in the light, casting soft dapples of its own on the walls and floor of the villa. The other gown is delicate and lacy, and seems to melt into the model's skin when the sun hits it just so.

The flowers are lavish and bold, and I love how Siloh Floral combined deep burgundy tones and dark greens with soft peach and lavender blooms. The installation is wild and organic; it looks like it's been growing from the walls of the villa for years!

When creating the paper for the shoot, I let myself be inspired by the architecture of the villa and the lavish nature of the artwork that was created during the height of the use of chiaroscuro. I used handmade paper with rich texture and wild deckled edges and chose soft, earthy tones for the color palette. The illustration at the top of the main invitation is derived from an ornate golden frame in the Renaissance section of the Minneapolis Institute of Art. The architectural sketch underneath the ring is a portion of arches and windows inside the villa.

Each time I look through these photos, I find something new to look at and dwell on. I am so inspired by the way Louise captured such historic beauty in a bold and modern way. The crumbling stone and soft, earthy plaster are so ancient, and yet each photo is fresh and innovative. I'm so thrilled that my work was able to be a small part of this incredible shoot!

Photography: Taylor & Porter / Design + Styling: Lacy Geary / Floral Design: Siloh Floral Artistry / Dresses: Inbal Dror and Ersa Atelier  via Morgan Davies Bridal / Hair and Makeup: Elena Cameranesi / Ribbon: Silk and Willow / Rings: Susie Saltzman / Calligraphy & Paper Goods: Esther Clark / Model: Daphne via 4 Upper Models