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Pigments of the Past: Egg Tempera Edition
Pigments of the Past: Egg Tempera Edition

Pigments of the Past: Egg Tempera Edition

Discover the history of pigments in ancient Greece and the practise of egg tempera painting, in a hands-on workshop for adults.

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Event Information

16 Mar 2024, 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Hellenic Museum, 280 William St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia


How did ancient artisans colour their world before the invention of modern paints? What is egg tempera, and how was it made and used? Join a Hellenic Museum Curator in a hands-on exploration of pigments throughout the past, with a special focus on the medium of egg tempera. 

Workshop participants will receive a primer on the theory and history of pigment with an emphasis on ancient Greece; explore the history, development and usage of egg tempera; touch and discuss common pigment ingredients; examine painting motifs on real and replica artefacts; learn how to make traditional egg tempera medium; and combine this with fine art pigments to practice painting tempera onto small canvases, which can be taken home after the workshop.

Workshop Schedule

  • 1.25PM – Arrive and gather in the Hellenic Museum foyer
  • 1.30PM – Workshop begins with a Curator's tour of painted artefacts and icons on display at the Museum
  • 1.45PM – Move to the workshop space for a presentation on pigment and egg tempera, an opportunity to touch traditional pigment ingredients, and handle real and replica objects for a close up look at decorative styles
  • 2.15PM – Be guided through the process of mixing your own egg tempera medium! Combine it with fine art pigments and apply your new egg tempera paints onto individual canvases, where you can practice historical motifs or create your own artwork.
  • 3.30PM – Workshop concludes, participants welcome to explore the Museum until 4PM

Inclusions & Important Information

  • Tickets include all materials, and Museum general admission before or after the workshop.
  • Recommended for ages 16+ due to advanced subject matter. 
  • Tempera can be messy! Aprons will be provided, but please consider wearing clothing you don't mind getting paint on. 
  • This workshop uses eggs. If you have allergen concerns, please contact the Hellenic Museum. 

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