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Old 09-04-10, 12:36 PM
Alessandra Kelley Alessandra Kelley is offline
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Chicago, Illinois USA
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Actually this is a method called gum distemper, or just distemper. It's paint made with a gum or glue, rather than egg yolk, which is the medium for classic tempera painting.

I've seen a few distemper works -- there's an Italian Renaissance processional banner at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and I think the Art Institute of Chicago might have one or two -- but they tend not to survive.

I do know that in the early nineteenth century, in Germany especially but also in Britain, there was a conscious effort to emulate medieval art, I guess part of the Gothic revival. This seems to be related to that.

Do you know if the painting is mounted on board or on canvas? It looks in pretty good shape, so I'm guessing board, but you never know.
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