Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

Get access

Painting technique
(1,678 words)

1. Tempera

For tempera painting (from Latin temperare, “to temper,” “to mix”), artists used pigments bound in an emulsion of aqueous (e.g. animal glue) and non-aqueous (e.g. drying oil) binders. An emulsifier ensures a lasting emulsion. Where the emulsion consists mostly of a drying oil, this is called a tempera grassa (“fat tempera”), while one comprising mostly the aqueous component is called tempera magra (“thin tempera”). Tempera paints dry matt and consistent and are thus water-resistan…

Cite this page
Nicolaus, Knut, “Painting technique”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 18 October 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_023630>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20200721



▲   Back to top   ▲