Tempera

Originally any paint in which pigment is mixed (tempered) with glue or gum and thinned with water. The most common form of the medium is egg tempera, which was the most important painting technique in Europe until the end of the fifteenth century. Pigment is bound together with egg yolk, giving a smooth, fast-drying paint suitable for fine work. Built up with quick, repeated brushstrokes in translucent layers, an opaque surface covered in fine lines with a soft sheen is produced. Recent years have seen a revival of tempera techniques.

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John Maitland, 1st Baron Maitland, by Unknown artist, circa 1588 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

John Maitland, 1st Baron Maitland
by Unknown artist
circa 1588
NPG 2769

Joseph Edward Southall; Anna Elizabeth Southall, by Joseph Edward Southall, 1911 - NPG  - © estate of Joseph Edward Southall; on loan to the National Portrait Gallery, London

Joseph Edward Southall; Anna Elizabeth Southall
by Joseph Edward Southall
1911
NPG L215

Arthur William Symons, by Rudolf Helmut Sauter, 1935 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Arthur William Symons
by Rudolf Helmut Sauter
1935
NPG 4172

Elton John (

Elton John ('On the throne')
by Suzi Malin
1978
NPG 6563

David Tindle, by David Tindle, 1985 - NPG  - © David Tindle

David Tindle
by David Tindle
1985
NPG 5852

Sir Dirk Bogarde, by David Tindle, 1986 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Sir Dirk Bogarde
by David Tindle
1986
NPG 5891

J.G. Ballard, by Brigid Marlin, 1987 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

J.G. Ballard
by Brigid Marlin
1987
NPG 6557

Elvis Costello, by Adam Birtwistle, 1996 - NPG  - © Adam Birtwistle / Piano Nobile Fine Paintings

Elvis Costello
by Adam Birtwistle
1996
NPG 6460

Amartya Kumar Sen, by Antony Williams, 2003 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Amartya Kumar Sen
by Antony Williams
2003
NPG 6640

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