Online Encyclopedia

TEMPERA (the Italian term), or DISTEMPER

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V26, Page 578 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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TEMPERA (the Italian term), or DISTEMPER, a method of painting in which solid pigments are employed, mixed with awater medium,' in which some kind of gum or gelatinous sub-stance is dissolved to prevent the colours from scaling off. Tempera is also called in Italy fresco a secco, as distinguished from fresco b&Irmo, or true fresco, painted on freshly laid patches of stucco. Various media have been used for tempera work, such as the glutinous sap of the fig and other trees, various gums which are soluble in water, and size made by boiling down fish-bones, parchment and animals' hoofs. A mixture of egg and vinegar has also been found to make a good medium, especially when it is desirable to apply the colours in consider-able body or impasto. For the nature and history of painting in tempera and fresco, see PAINTING.
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