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Question asked 2018-03-21 11:11:08 ...
Most recent comment 2018-03-26 07:50:58
Last week there was an Egg Tempera Conference in Munich ("Tempera Painting Betwen 1800 and 1950"). Did any of you attend and, if so, can you report on any interesting findings or revelations?
Answers and Comments
Wow....well there were loads of excellent talks. Know that there will be a forthcoming publication released by Archetype Publishing probably in the next year or two...I can really only comment on the things that I learned:
a) Apparently the use of "flax seed mucilage" was a bit more common during the turn of the century than we previously thought. We have identified this material in Henry O. Tanner's "tempera" paints and a group of Italian researchers have also identified this material being used by several painters working in Venice.
b) There are and continue to be massive issues regarding terminology with the word "tempera." This is due to the liberal use of the word (as it actually means "to mix") but also the term can change its meaning from one generation to the next depending on all sorts of things. Sorry to bring up Tanner again but as an example his "tempera" recipe basically contains everything EXCEPT egg.
c) There are all sorts of theories now about how egg-oil emulsions (oil in water or water in oil) form and stabilize. More research needs to be done here.
d) Basically the most optimal methods of analysis combine some sort of imaging technique that one can use on cross-sectional samples coupled with some sort of chromatography method. Without a doubt, modern tempera paints pose some of the most CHALLENGING analytical obstacles for the science community.
e) There are many interesting and fruitful collaborations happening in Europe between paint manufacturers/archival paint collections and conservation scientists: Talens and RCE in the Netherlands, the Ca'Foscari University of Venice and Fortuny's archives, and the University of Pisa and Maimeri.
But honestly I would simply recommend purchasing the book....as well as "Tempera, c. 1900."
Kristin is being a bit modest about our involvement here.
She gave a keynote presentation at the conference and I gave both a paper and a
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