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About Egg Tempera


Egg Tempera is a permanent, fast-drying painting medium, traditionally created by hand-grinding dry powdered pigments into a binder medium, usually egg yolk. The white of the egg and the membrane of the yolk are discarded. Tempera paintings are very long-lasting, and examples from the first century CE still exist. Egg tempera was a primary method of painting until after 1500 when it was superseded by the invention of oil painting. 



Tempera painting has been found on early Egyptian sarcophagi decorations. Many of the Fayum mummy portraits use tempera, sometimes in combination with encaustic (hot wax painting). A related technique has been used also in ancient and early medieval paintings found in several caves and rock-cut temples of India. High-quality art with the help of tempera was created in Bagh Caves between the late 4th and 10th centuries CE and in the 7th century CE in Ravan Chhaya rock shelter, Orissa.

The murals of the mid-third-century CE Dura-Europos synagogue in Syria were created in tempera. The art technique was also the main medium used for panel painting and illuminated manuscripts in the Byzantine world and Medieval and Early Renaissance Europe. Tempera painting was the primary panel painting medium for nearly every painter in the European Medieval and Early renaissance period up to 1500. For example, every surviving panel painting by Michelangelo is egg tempera.


Oil paint replaced tempera as the principal medium used for creating artwork during the 15th century in Early Netherlandish painting. Around 1500, oil paint replaced tempera in Italy. In the 19th and 20th centuries, there were intermittent revivals of tempera technique in Western art, among the Pre-Raphaelites, Social Realists, and others. Tempera painting continues to be used in Eastern Europe and Greece where it is the traditional medium for Orthodox icons.

Art Materials
Kateryna uses only high quality traditional art materials; traditionally made gesso, boards and pigments. 


Real Gold 
23 karat double thickness genuine German gold leaf is used for gilding. 


Made Only From Free-Range Eggs
Free-range eggs are produced from hens that live on open concept farms that are permitted outdoors. 


Hand-Made Traditional Gessoed Icon Boards

At first sight the icon boards may seem simple to produce, nevertheless, the process contains a lot of chronic requirements and is made to endure the same conditions after many years. Hand-selected poplar wood, kiln-dried, traditionally cut and relieved. Boards are gessoed and have linen under the gesso. The true gesso contains the natural products only. The marble dust, chalk, water and rabbit skin glue. Only distilled water is used because the simple water contains metals, salt and other chemical elements. All of the boards are hand-made and produced with a unique recipe of natural gesso.

Creating Egg Tempera Paints

Egg yolk is rolled on a gauze fabric to absorb excess white. Yolk sac is broken with a pin. Contents of the yolk sac is mixed with small drops of water and vinegar. Yolk sac is disposed. Water is added to the dry pigment to create a creamy paste. Egg yolk is added to the pigment paste just before applying, and water is used to thin tempera as needed.


Tempera paint is applied in many thin, semi-opaque or transparent layers. Tempera painting allows for great precision when used with traditional techniques that require the application of numerous small brush strokes applied in a cross-hatching technique. When dry, it produces a smooth matte finish. In this respect, the colors of a tempera painting can resemble a pastel. Tempera colors do not change over time, whereas oil paints can darken and yellow with age. 



Giotto di Bondone, Duccio di Buoninsegna, Cimabue, Simone Martini and Sandro Botticelli painted in egg tempera. Although tempera has been out of favor since the Late Renaissance and Baroque eras, it has been periodically rediscovered by later artists such as William Blake, the Nazarenes, the Pre-Raphaelites, and Joseph Southall. 20th-century European painters who worked with tempera include Giorgio de Chirico, Remedios Varo and Otto Dix. In recent history, the egg tempera medium was used by American artist Andrew Wyeth, and Canadian artist Alex Colville. 

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