Glue tempera paintings 2: Nabis

Like the perspective in “In Front of the House” which has a touch of Bloomsbury about it too.

The Eclectic Light Company

In the first of these two articles looking at paintings using glue as the binder in the artist’s paint, I showed examples from the Renaissance, and from William Blake’s revival of the medium around 1800. During much of the nineteenth century, ‘glue tempera’ fell into disuse, with oils, watercolour and pastels proving far more popular until a group of young French artists started experimenting with different media.

bonnardstorkfrogs Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947), Stork and Four Frogs (c 1889), distemper on red-dyed cotton fabric in a three paneled screen, 159.5 x 163.5 cm, Private collection. The Athenaeum.

Among the first of these is Pierre Bonnard’s extraordinary and exquisite three-panelled Japoniste screen of The Stork and Four Frogs in about 1889, as the Nabis were forming. Using more modern pigments, Bonnard has achieved very high chroma, comparable to anything in oils, and quite unlike traditional glue tempera.

vallottonmisiadressingtable Félix Vallotton (1865–1925), Misia at Her Dressing…

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By penwithlit

Freelance writer and radio presenter

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