Caravaggio's "The Calling of Saint Matthew" exhibits his original and skillful use of chiaroscuro and tenebrism. Chiaroscuro and tenebrism in Caravaggio's paintings gave the characters and actions of the scenes dramatic and naturalistic contrasts. Tenebrism uses dark shadows to obscure, and chiaroscuro uses dramatic contrasting of light and dark.
Particularly in "The Calling of Saint Matthew," Caravaggio's talent displays religious scenes and iconography in a realistic and naturalistic setting. The technique demonstrated Caravaggio's distinctly original way of painting. The style of painting also exposes a sense of immediacy and reality through the contrasting expressions, gestures, and play of light and action.