The Practice of Tempera Painting

by Daniel V. Thompson, Jr., Dover Publications

21 X 14 cm. 141 pages

When one first decides to explore painting with egg tempera, this book is one of the first one is likely to consult. It’s cheap, and with a name like… well. Thompson bases much of this book on his own scholarship of Cennino Cennini's Libro dell’ Arte, written in the fifteenth century. Thompson even translated Cennini’s work in 1933. I have tried to read parts of Libro and found that it raises more questions than it answers. Sadly, Thompson doesn’t clarify matters much.The parts that deal with the preparation and application of tempera paint are particularly obtuse. That said, the book is fascinating, especially the sections on gilding and decorating gilded surfaces.