Skip to Main Content
Sign In
Toggle Navigation

Open the Navigation Management window, which can be used to view the full current branch of the menu tree, and edit it.

  • Instagram
  • Facebook

MITRA Forum Question Details

Image Picker for Section 0


  • Gilding over Egg temperaApproveRejectUn-ApproveSubscribeUn-Unsubscribe
    Question asked 2017-01-01 14:23:56 ... Most recent comment 2017-01-02 09:39:00
    Egg Tempera Gilding
    Can you place gold leaf over an area that has been painted in egg tempera?

Answers and Comments

  • EditDeleteModerator AnswerYes you can although you will need to use an oil or other mordant for gilding. Additionally, any texture in the paint will be amplified by the gilding. Mordant gilding over tempera was very commonly used in the early Renaissance (in addition to sgraffito) to create small gilded details
    Baade, Brian
    2017-01-01 15:09:42
  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    ​Also you may find some of the information on our Kress Technical Art History Website​ relating to gilding practices useful. We cover both water gilding and mordant gilding. Be sure to look at some of the egg tempera reconstructions that contain gilded passages as well. 

    Kristin deGhetaldi
    2017-01-02 09:35:41
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser CommentWhen applying gold leaf to a tempera surface (particularly a fresh one), the gold tends to stick not only to the mordant, but also to any surrounding, exposed tempera paint, and is very difficult to remove without damaging the paint. You can cut a mask to protect the surrounding area. I've also had success with first dusting the paint surface (where you don't want the gold to stick) with a bit of talc before applying the mordant and leaf. The talc prevents stray gold leaf from adhering, and after gilding you brush off the talc and/or apply a very thin nourishing layer (thinned egg yolk medium) which makes the talc transparent. I've actually done this only a few times, my experience is limited, so I'd be interested in what others have to say. Koo Schadler
    2017-01-07 15:39:01
  • EditDeleteModerator AnswerYes, also what Koo said in terms of accidentally adhering gold to fresh paint. As to the application of egg water to a surface. I know that many like to do this. I do have slight worries about the practice when it is applied over paint that will not be later covered by additional layers of tempera. There has been some discussion that such a layer provides a superabundance of fatty acids which may play a part in exacerbating the development of fatty acid efflorescence. Even this is not a huge issue and probably it would not even be enough reason to stop using the technique if it serves an important purpose as Koo has indicated.
    Baade, Brian
    2017-01-07 17:32:00
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser CommentDr. Francis Lestingi has recommended using kaolin to "dust", rather than talc - it is much finer, and has none of the additives present in talcum powder (such as baby powder). This is an effective technique for gilding on most substrates. The excess can be vacuumed off, or brushed off with velvet cloth or a mop, or even washed, depending on the substrate. -Naomi Lipsky
    2017-02-14 14:50:12

Page Settings and MetaData:
(Not Shown on the Page)
Page Settings
MetaData for Search Engine Optimization
MITRA Forum Question Details
This page cannot be accessed until you accept the Terms of Use, which can be found here.
Please note that this Terms of Use system uses cookies. If you have cookies disabled you will not be able to accept the agreement. If you delete our cookies you will need to re-accept the Terms of Use.
  • The Department of Art Conservation
  • 303 Old College
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-3489