`titrebContemporary East European Painting Chiaroscuro `/titreb Released from the oppression of the Communist period, Eastern European painting is making unprecedented strides by adopting the mysterious technique of chiaroscuro which reflects the political, economic and socio-cultural context prevailing in Central Europe since the fall of the Berlin wall. Aesthetically very heterogeneous, it deals both with temporal aspects (a capacity for capturing the ephemeral) and the concerns of day-to-day reality (idealizing trivial subjects). Careful to resist political temptation, it, does, however, differentiate between engagement, testimony and disaffection. Once the academic institutions no longer existed, a network of private galleries appeared with the emergence of a real art market, albeit little integrated into the international market where Eastern European painters are still not highly regarded. These changes were accompanied by the temporary patronage of the Open Society Institute (Soros Foundation) with the creation of seventeen contemporary art centers, now independent and benefiting inter alia from the European Union’s cultural program. Painters are not spared the precarity confronting the rest of the population, and most, who were assured a minimum income and social protection under the socialist system, must now hold a second job. While the most cherished hope of many artists is still to integrate into the painting market, this must not occur to the detriment of their creativity and identity.