Publications

Books on Egg Tempera Technique

 

Luminous Brush : Painting With Egg Tempera
by Altoon Sultan
Paperback – 128 pages 0 edition (October 1999)
Watson-Guptill Pubns; ISBN: 0823028887

Available as a download in PDF format from this site (50mb).

This book is also available on line:
Luminous Brush On Line

 
The Practice of Tempera Painting – Materials and Methods
by Daniel V. Thompson Jr.
Dover Publications Inc., New York, 1936.
The bible of Egg Tempera painting technique.

 
The Craftsman’s Handbook “Il Libro dell’Arte”
by Cennino D’Andrea Cennini, translated by Daniel V. Thompson, Jr.
Dover Publication, Inc., New York, 1933.
An excellent, even useable translation of Cennini’s painting manual that describes 13th century painting methods including “yolk of egg” tempera.
For comparison, see previous translations by Mrs. Merrifield and Christiana J. Herringham.

 
New Techniques in Egg Tempera
by Robert Vickrey
Watson-Guptil, New York, 1973.
This is an excellent book of experimentation while staying within the physical laws of egg tempera. OUT OF PRINT

 
A Guide to Egg Tempera Painting
by Michael Bergt, 1995.
Written as a teaching aid for the author’s workshops. This is an extremely clear, accurate manual written by an artist who has mastered the medium. Highly recommended. Can be ordered from the author, 4861 B La Junta del Alamo Santa Fe, NM 87501 USA $10 (includes S & H)

Techniques of Icon and Wall Painting: Egg tempera, Fresco, Secco
by Aidan Hart.
A most comprehensive book to date on the techniques of icon painting. 460 pages. Over 450 colour illustrations and over 160 drawings.
More details
 
The Artist’s Handbook of Material and Techniques
by Ralph Mayer
The Viking Press, New York, 1940.
There is a chapter or tempera and part of a chapter of preparing gesso grounds for tempera. Very helpful. Also provides a long list of different pigments and their properties.

 
The Painter’s Craft
by Ralph Mayer
Penguin Books, New York, 1948.
A much shorter version of Mayer’s larger classic, The Artist’s Handbook, with a good summary of egg tempera technique.

 
One Egg, Over Medium: The Struggle to Master Egg Tempera Painting
by Dianne Mitchell Ball
American Artist Magazine, pp. 58-63, June, 1986.
Delightfully and humorously written magazine article that gives step by step instructions.

 
The Technique of Icon Painting
by Guillem Ramos-Poqui
Moorehouse Publishing, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Wilton, Connecticut, 1990.
A superb guide, not just for Icon Painting, but for students of secular tempera as well. Very detailed and clearly written. Color illustrations.

 
The Materials of the Artist and Their Use in Painting
by Max Doerner Harcourt Brace Co., New York, 1934.
Doerner is an excellent resource for technical information on all types of painting. His sections on egg tempera focus more on egg/oil emulsions, which he considered the highest development of tempera painting.

 The Painter’s Methods and Materials
by A.P.Laurie
Dover Publications, New York, 1960.
Like Doerner, Laurie focuses on egg/oil emulsions. He also offers summaries of Cennini’s text, as well as excerpts from the Society of Tempera Painters original publications.

 
An Artist’s Notebook
by Bernard Chaet
Orlando, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1979.
Another Yale professor (like Thompson and Mayer) who knew and taught egg tempera. His chapter on tempera offers limited information but some interesting historical notes and images.

 
Materials and Techniques of Mediaeval Painting
by Daniel V. Thompson
Dover Publication, New York.

 
The Materials and Techniques of Painting 
by Kurt Wehlte
Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, New York, 1975.

 
Traditional Icon Painting
by Christopher Castle
A manual written by a non-traditional icon painter. Can be ordered from the author.
5950 Doyle St. #7, Emeryville 
CA 94608, U.S.A. 
Phone: (510) 652 3697 
email: castle.art@sbcglobal.net

 
Egg Tempera Painting
by Koo Schadler
A 35 page booklet composed of handouts from Introduction to Egg tempera Painting Classes taught by egg tempera painter Koo Schadler. Can be ordered from the author. 60 Queen Street, Stoddard, NH 03464, (603) 446-6223. $15 (includes S & H).

 
A Manual of Egg Tempera Painting
by Maxwell Armfield
George Allen & Unwin, LTD. Museum Street, London, 1930.
This book is still a useful manual of egg tempera. Historical notes are good. OUT OF PRINT.

 
Egg Tempera Painting, Tempera Underpainting, Oil Emulsion Painting
by Vaclav Vytlacil and Rupert Davidson Turnbull
Oxford University Press, New York, 1935.
Discusses egg-oil technique. OUT OF PRINT.

 
Tempera Painting
by Zoltan Sepeshy
American Studio Books, New York and London, 1946.
Discusses egg-oil technique. OUT OF PRINT.

 
Clearing the Haze: Efflorescence on Works of Art
by Eugena Ordonez and John Twilly
Analytical Chemistry Magazine, pp. 416A-422A, 1997.

Books on Egg Tempera History

 

Giotto to Durer: Early Renaissance Painting in the National Gallery
by Jill Dunkerton, Susan Foister, Dillian Gordon and Nicolas Penny
Yale University Press, New Haven and London in association with National Gallery Publications Limited, London, 1991
This is a richly illustrated historical treatise that delves into the political, religious as well as artistic influences on the period of time when egg tempera flourished. Also includes other painting techniques.

 
Art in the Making: Italian Painting Before 1400
by David Bomford, et al.
National Gallery Publication, London, 1989.

 
Italian Panel Painting of the Early Renaissance
by Susan L. Caroselli, Los Angeles County Museum of Art. 
Distributed by University of Washington Press, Washington, 1994.

 
Color and Meaning: Practice and Theory in Renaissance Painting
by Marcia Hall
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England, 1992.

 
Primavera, The Restoration of Botticelli’s Masterpiece
by Umberto Baldini, with essays by Ornella Casazza, Mauro Matteini, GuidoMoggi, Arcangelo Moles and Maurizio Seracini.
Harry N. Abrams Inc. New York.
“The exciting story of how one of the world’s greatest paintings was lovingly restored to its original freshness and beauty”; topics include Botticelli the Man, The Medici and Florentine Humanism, Reasons for Restoring the Primavera, Research into the Technique of the Primavera, Interpretations of the Paintings, etc. 120 illustrations, including 90 in full color.

 
Painting and Illumination in Early Renaissance Florence 1300-1450
by Laurence B. Kanter, Barbara Drake Boehm, Carl Brandon Strehlke, Gaudena Freuler, Christa C. Mayer Thurma, Pia Palladino
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Distributed by Harry N. Abrams, New York.
“In addition to…three essays elucidating different aspects of the topic, this volume contains 55 entries on 110 works of art, accompanied by 296 illustrations, 120 of them in color. Each entry includes a descriptive commentary, a provenance and references. Including artists from early Italian Renaissance; the Master of the Codex of Saint George, Pacino de Bonaguida, the Maestro Dadesco, the Master of the Dominican Effigies, Don Dilbersto dei Gherarducci and Don Simone Camaldolese, and Lorenzo Monaco.

 
The Painter’s Practice in Renaissance Tuscany
by Thomas Anabel
Cambridge, England, Cambridge University Press, 1995.
An interesting examination of the basic, day to day aspects of Renaissance painting, such as where painters bought supplies, how they ran their workshops, for whom they painted, etc.

 
Making and Meaning: The Young Michelangelo
by Michael Hirst and Jill Dunkerton
National Gallery Publications, London, England, 1994.

 
Color and Meaning: Practice and Theory in Renaissance Painting
By Marcia Hall
Cambridge, Cambridge University press, 1992.

 
Metropolitan Seminars in Art – Portfolio 9 – Techniques
by John Canaday
New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Part of a series published by the Met. A rather old-fashioned sounding text but with an interesting section on tempera painting that emphasizes the value of good craftsmanship in painting.

Icon Painting Books

 

The Technique of Icon Painting
by Guillem Ramos-Poqui
Moorehouse Publishing, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Wilton, Connecticut, 1990.
A superb guide, not just for Icon Painting, but for students of secular tempera as well. Very detailed and clearly written. Color illustrations.

 
Traditional Icon Painting
by Christopher Castle
A manual written by a non-traditional icon painter. Can be ordered from the author. 
5845 Doyle Street, #2, Emeryville. 
CA 94608, U.S.A. 
Phone: (510) 652 3697 
email: castle.art@sbcglobal.net

 
Gates of Mystery – The Art of Holy Russia 
by Roderick Grierson
England, The Pen and Ink Book Company, 1992.
The catalog for an exhibition of Russian Icons that traveled to several museums in the US in 1992-3. The book has wonderful illustrations and a short section on technique.

 
How to Paint Icons 
by Stephen J. Skubik
St. Augustine, St. Photios School of Iconography, 1995.
A self published workbook, available from the Toadstool Bookstore,Peterborough, NH.

 
The Painter’s Manual of Dionysius of Fourna
Translated into English by Paul Hetherington.
Sagittarius Press, London.
A painting manual written by a Greek icon painter of the 18th century. OUT OF PRINT.

 
In addition to the books suggested here, The Metropolitan Museum in New York has an excellent selection of icon books.

Books on Individual Egg Tempera Artists

 

George Tooker
by Thomas H. Garver
Pomegranate Artbooks, San Francisco California, 1992.
A “magical realist”, George Tooker is still painting today in Vermont. This book will give you a real feeling for the advantages and limitations of the medium.

 
Paul Cadmus
by Lincoln Kristen
Chameleon Books Inc New York 1992
One of the finest painters in tempera.

 
Enfant Terrible at 80
A video by David Sutherland about Paul Cadmus.

In addition to the books suggested here, there are numerous monographs on the most famous of tempera painters, from Sandro Botticelli to Andrew Wyeth.

Historical Documents

 

“Il Libro dell’Arte”, A Treatise on Painting
by Cennino D’Andrea Cennini, translated by Mary Philadelphia Merrifield (known as “Mrs. Merrifield”).
Edward Lumley, London, 1844.
This was the first English translation of Cennino’s book but it was incomplete. See photo of title page of original edition above. OUT OF PRINT.

 
“Il Libro dell’Arte”, The Book of Art of Cennino Cennini. A Contemporary Practical Treatise on Quattrocento Painting.
By Cennino Cennini, translated from the Italian, with notes on Mediaeval Art Methods, by Christiana J. Herringham.
George Allen & Unwin, LTD., London, 1899.
This is the second English translation and first complete translation of Cennino’s book. Lady Herringham actually used egg tempera herself and founded the Society of Painters in Tempera in 1901. OUT OF PRINT.

 
Papers of the Society of Painters in Tempera Vol. 1,2,3 & 4 
They are out of print but a copy can be obtained from this site.

 
The Painter’s Manual of Dionysius of Fourna
Translated into English by Paul Hetherington.
Sagittarius Press, London.
A painting manual written by a Greek icon painter of the 18th century. OUT OF PRINT.

Periodicals

 

One Egg, Over Medium: The Struggle to Master Egg Tempera Painting
by Dianne Mitchell Ball
American Artist Magazine, pp. 58-63, June, 1986.
Delightfully and humorously written magazine article that gives step by step instructions.

 
Looking at Paintings: “The Entombment of Giovanni di Paolo”
by Hilton Brown
American Artist Magazine, Vol. 47, No. 497, December 1983

 
Looking at Paintings: “Paul Cadmus’ Playground”
by Hilton Brown
American Artist Magazine, Vol. 46, No. 474, January 1982

 
Looking at Paintings: Fayum Mummy Portraits
by Hilton Brown
American Artist Magazine, Vol. 45, No. 472, November 1982

In addition to the article suggested above, there have been many more articles published on tempera. Anyone interested should peruse Art Index, a guide to periodic literature of the art world. Look under Tempera painting; also look under the names of individual artists, such as Wyeth and Botticelli, about whom countless articles have been written. American Artist Magazine is especially good at publishing contemporary writings and images of egg tempera, producing one or two tempera articles a year.