Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Annigoni’s Egg Tempera Recipe

Eggs, oil, wine, and ground cadmium. Yumm! Sounds good enough to eat. Watch how portrait painter Pietro Annigoni (1910-1988)  mixes his egg tempera.


Direct link to YouTube video
Wikipedia on Annigoni
Painting with Annigoni: A Halcyon Decade
Thanks, Keita

17 comments:

Ernest Friedman-Hill said...

Wonderful!

billspaintingmn said...

I'd like to try that!

mimitabby said...

wow, thanks for digging up that video ! Answered some of my questions about tempera for sure

Ruuhkis said...

hey James, I quoted you in my blog, hope that's alright! http://www.myspace.com/rookievisions/blog

I read your blog daily, terrific stuff

James Gurney said...

Ruuhkis, thanks, that's fine.

And thanks to Keita Hopkinson for telling me about this video. Michael John Angel, who has the atelier in Florence, was a student of Annigoni, and is passing on much of his knowledge.

MichaelJA said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MichaelJA said...

Oops, wasn't thinking and accidentally deleted the original comment.

Very interesting in that most instruction on egg tempura shows separating the yoke from the skin of the yoke.

Jon Hrubesch said...

I remember when I was in high school art class years ago a few tempera paint containers went bad smelling like rotten eggs. Pretty horrible. Maybe it was because they didn't combine them with white wine? Haha!

Honey P. Amplegood said...

mmmm cadmium!

maxwest said...

It's probably better to use readymade tube paints before trying to make your own egg tempera. Badly mixed paints may not work right and end up discouraging those wanting to work in egg tempera.

Stephen Southerland said...

This is very strange. I was just looking for egg tempera recipes a couple of days ago. I feel like my mind is being read.

Was that stand oil that PA mixed w/ the eggs?

Christopher Thornock said...

I think what Annigoni is making is an egg/oil emulsion. There are other recipes and techniques. Seems to me that I have seen on the internet an old American Artist magazine article showing step by step his process. His portraits are pretty amazing.

James Gurney said...

Colin Adams sent me this and asked me to post it:
"I'm an illustrator, maker, and avid reader of your blog. I just watched the Tempera recipe video, and noticed that the ratio the announcer mentioned didn't look like what he was actually doing. As he filled the cylinder, it was supposed to be six parts egg yolk, to one part oil (and one part varnish, which means he pre-mixed the varnish and oil to use that much in the film). But as you can see in the attached screen grab from the end of his pour, it's a bit more than two parts, if that is the mix. If it was just oil, than the recipe would be very different once he mixed it all."

tinoradman said...

Fascinating. Does anybody know where one can watch the rest of this video (if it exists somewhere on cyber space)? I searched around but to no avail.

James Gurney said...

Tino, try the British Pathe site, which has viewable clips of old newsreel footage, and apparently a lot of stuff on Annigoni:

http://www.britishpathe.com/results.php?search=annigoni

youngstudios said...

very intresting.
i love the vintage feel of the film.
I dont use traditonal medium and i have never used temprea. does the egg cause the painting to "rot". it seems like it would brown and smell over time.

very neat find. james.

Colin said...

Youngstudios-
No, it wouldn't "rot" any more than dried blood would rot. Many old (pre 1500) masters used this method, and as soon as it dries, along with the oil, it oxidizes. If you have ever seen an egg broken on the sidewalk, you will see that it forms a hard "glue" in a few days.

--Colin