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1. A painting medium in which pigment is mixed with water-soluble glutinous materials such as size or egg yolk. Also called poster color, poster paint.
2. Painting done in this medium.
[Italian, from temperare, to mingle, from Latin temperāre; see temper.]
1. (Art Terms) a painting medium for powdered pigments, consisting usually of egg yolk and water
2. (Art Terms)
a. any emulsion used as a painting medium, with casein, glue, wax, etc, as a base
b. the paint made from mixing this with pigment
3. (Art Terms) the technique of painting with tempera
[C19: from Italian phrase pingere a tempera painting in tempera, from temperare to mingle; see temper]
tem•per•a(ˈtɛm pər ə)
n., pl. -per•as.
1. a technique of painting in which an emulsion consisting of water and pure egg yolk or a mixture of egg and oil is used as a binder or medium, characterized by its lean film-forming properties and rapid drying rate.
2. a painting executed in this technique.
3. a water paint used in this technique in which the egg-based emulsion is used as a binder. Compare distemper 2 (defs. 1, 2).
[1825–35; < Italian, short for (pingere a) tempera (painting in) distemper, derivative of temperare to mingle; see temper]
A paint medium made by mixing color pigments with substances such as egg white, egg yolk, glue, gelatine, or casein. True tempera is when the colors are ground with egg yolk only. The medium was largely supplanted in the fifteenth century by oil paint.