Retirement Planning and Chiaroscuro
One of the first words in the new book deals with the rather obscure term chiaroscuro. Described by Richard Larmann of the University of Evansville as "a method for applying value to a two-dimensional piece of artwork to create the illusion of a three-dimensional solid form. This way of working was devised during the Italian Renaissance and was used by artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael. In this system, if light is coming in from one predetermined direction, then light and shadow will conform to a set of rules."
Retirement planning is an art form that harbors subtle shadows and nuances that too often draw your eye away from where you need to focus. Painters using this method understand that it is the foreground the commands your attention but it is the background that lends the art its visual depth.
We often focus solely on how much we are saving for those after-work-years and not on the shadows, which because we do not pay as close attention to, often subtract from the effort.
You can see this used in the following paintings by Caravaggio and van Honthorst.
My personal favorite is by German artist Elsheimer seen here in the burning of Troy.