The technique of painting with pigments bound in a water-soluble emulsion, such as water and egg yolk, or an oil-in-water emulsion such as oil and a whole egg

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  • Meredith Frampton, 'Nude with Flying Swans' 1919
    Meredith Frampton
    Nude with Flying Swans 1919
    Tempera on wood
    support: 180 x 241 mm
    Presented by the executors of Mrs Hilda Frampton, the artist's widow 1985© Tate
  • William Blake, 'The Ghost of a Flea' circa 1819-20
    William Blake
    The Ghost of a Flea circa 1819-20
    Tempera heightened with gold on mahogany
    support: 214 x 162 mm
    frame: 382 x 324 x 50 mm
    Bequeathed by W. Graham Robertson 1949
  • John Armstrong, 'Dreaming Head' 1938
    John Armstrong
    Dreaming Head 1938
    Tempera on wood
    support: 478 x 794 mm
    frame: 654 x 966 x 84 mm
    Purchased 1938© Tate

Some tempera paints are made with an artificial emulsion using gum or glue. Traditionally applied to a rigid support such as a wood panel, the paint dries to a hard film.