Tempera

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A fourteenth century tempera by
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A fourteenth century tempera by Bernardo Daddi
See, tempura, for an article about a type of Japanese food.

Tempera (or egg tempera) is the primary type of artist's paint and associated art techniques that were prevalent in Europe's Middle Ages.

Tempera was traditionally created by hand-grinding dry powdered pigments into egg yolk (which was the primary binding agent or medium), sometimes along with other materials such as honey, water, milk (in the form of casein) and a variety of plant gums. After the invention of oil paint in the late Middle Ages, tempera continued to be used for awhile as the underpainting (base layer) with translucent or transparent oil glazes on top. This transitional, mixed technique was followed by a sole oil painting techniques, which for the most part replaced tempera in the 16th century.

Tempera paint dries rapidly. The techniques of tempera painting can be exacting when used with traditional techniques that require the application of numerous small brushstrokes applied in a cross-hatching technique. The colors, which are painted over each other, resemble a pastel when unvarnished, or the deeper colors when varnished.

Tempera is normally applied in thin semi-opaque or transparent layers. When dry, it produces a smooth matte finish. Because it cannot be applied in thick layers as oil paints can, tempera paintings rarely have the deep color saturation that oil paintings can achieve.

True tempera paintings are quite permanent. However, the term tempera in modern times is also used by some manufacturers to refer to ordinary poster paint, which is a form of gouache (opaque watercolor) that has nothing to do with real egg tempera.

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External links

de:Tempera fr:Tempera nl:tempera ja:テンペラ it:Pittura a tempera

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