Egg Tempera

20 Sep

This was our group’s combined effort exploring egg tempera:

The following is a midieval egg tempera painting that displays the common theme of mixing Christian symbolism with pagan styles of the British Isles during the 6th Century.  It is called a “carpet”, because it would have filled an entire page of an illustrated sacred manuscript, such as the Lindisfarn Gospels. One can easily see how mesmerized an illiterate peasant of the time might have been. –Aaron Brown



Lindisfarn Gospels Carpet Page

Lindisfarn Gospels Carpet Page


The following is a more contemporary egg tempera painting.  It was done by Richard Toft. Upon researching his work, I noticed that he has a very serene and peaceful quality of his paintings. They give you a sense of relaxation and calm. This particular painting below is my favorite of his, called Pacu.  It is egg tempera on museum board.

Pacu in egg tempera by Richard Toft

(Each of us will add a sentence introducing our egg tempera picture above these temporary instructions.  The text will be aligned right and the image will be centered.  The last one to enter their part should delete these lines)


3 Responses to “Egg Tempera”

  1. danielleacano September 24, 2010 at 2:59 am #

    I liked this activity, I thought it was a lot of fun. I was surprised at how thin the paint was, it reminded me of watercolor paint. I will be posting up another comment and more info on egg tempera within the next few days.

  2. jennljohnson10 September 27, 2010 at 3:33 am #

    While doing this project, I was surprised at the smoothness and flow of the paint. I would have thought the loose pigment would be gritty and difficult to work with; however, that was not the case. I also appreciate the vibrant color one could achieve with the medium. As shown in the examples above, the egg tempura creates rich hues and texture.

  3. hartleymmiller September 29, 2010 at 5:23 pm #

    Let me begin this comment by saying that I am not a painter. I’ve tried and tried but I just can’t do it. The best I can achieve has been with the help of pre-school quality Crayola watercolors. I was pleased to find that egg tempera has very similar attributes. This did not help my artistic quality, but it was fun to work with. It amazes me that some artists have been able to create amazingly impressive works of art with this medium. It doesn’t seem like a paint that would be able to create a masterpiece such as Botticelli’s Birth of Venus (discussed in class, and also one of my all-time favorite paintings).

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