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Old 08-03-18, 02:14 PM
Koo Schadler's Avatar
Koo Schadler Koo Schadler is offline
Tempera Painter
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Alstead, NH & Zirahuen, Mexico
Posts: 316

Brava, Lora, for booking your plane ticket!

I have q question. It has to do with the current definition of the word "tempera". As the conference itself says in its description,

"In the 19th century, the defining feature of tempera paints was their water-miscibility a characteristic that clearly separated them from oil paints. In the first half of the 20th century, this use of the term was extended by some scholars and artists to every mixture of aqueous and non-aqueous binding media."

If, in the first half the 20th c., "every mixture" of water and non-water binders were considered tempera, than what mediums were NOT considered tempera? The lack of clarity around the term "tempera" (in the early 20th c. up to today) remains confusing; for example, in museums you often see ancient Egyptian art generically labeled as "temperas" - does that mean watercolor, glue distemper, egg tempera, something else?

In short, if you could get the conference's take on the CURRENT definition of the word "tempera", I'd be most interested.

Also, I'm interested if the conference addresses what I call the "mythology" of egg tempera. My experience has been that conservators and historians know a lot of good facts; however they aren't necessary painters themselves, don't have extensive direct experience with painting in egg tempera. So there is a tendency (even among leading tempera historians) to repeat old saws such as "tempera paintings are inevitably high-key" or "inevitably high-chroma"; that one can't create strong light effects in tempera, etc.

In short, I'd be curious how they perceive tempera's capabilities.

Looking forward to hearing your report!

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