Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Very Brief History


Tempera has been a medium of choice by masters such as Michelangelo, Botticelli, Raphael, and Andrew Wyeth for its rich beauty and depth. Tempera was the primary method of painting from the 1st century until after 1500 when it was superseded by the invention of oil painting.

The art technique was known from the classical world, where it appears to have taken over from encaustic painting and was the main medium used for illuminated manuscripts in the Byzantine, Medieval and Renaissance periods. All of the known surviving Michelangelo panels are all egg tempera. The medium has been discovered on early Egyptians sarcophagi and many of the Fayum mummy portraits. 
The medium allowed for great experimentation, binders such as glue, honey, even milk were included. As the medium evolved artists used wax and oils based paints. 


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