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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…

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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 28 February 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_023630>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20200721

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