IPERION CHIntegrated Platform for the European Research Infrastructure ON Cultural Heritage

15–17 March, 2018

Doerner Institut, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen


Deadline for contributions  31 May, 2017

Funded by VolkswagenStiftung and IPERION CH, the conference aims to explore the revival of tempera painting between 1800 and 1950 from the perspectives of art history, technical art history, conservation and material analysis.

The conference will focus on the following topics:

1. The bigger picture: Exploring the cultural historical context of the 19th and early 20th century’s interest in painting techniques of the past

  • developments in nineteenth and twentieth-century art theory (e.g. “material-oriented aesthetics”) and discussion of their possible interactions with the interest in tempera painting
  • tempera painting as an alternative trajectory to the dominant history of oil painting
  • the various impacts of industrialization on artists’ materials, ideas and working processes in relation to the interest in painting techniques of the past
  • interactions between tempera painting techniques with other contemporaneous
  • technologies (e.g. photography, printing processes, newly introduced machines for paint application such as airbrush etc.)

2. A closer look at the sources

  • terminology and interpretation of 19th and early 20thcentury sources on tempera painting
  • art-technical sources on tempera painting techniques
  • problems of terminology and language: meaning and interchangeability of the terms ‘tempera’, ‘Leimfarbe’, ‘Wasserfarbe’, ‘watercolor’, ‘distemper’, ‘peinture a la colle’, ‘détrempe’, ‘tempera grassa’ etc. in 19th and 20th-century sources

3. In the studio: the practice of tempera painting between 1800 and 1950 and possible implications for conservation decisions.

  • the manifold ways of working in tempera on different supports, for painting sculpture, for mural, scene and decorative painting in European countries and in North and South America
  • artists’ individual motivations, their definition(s) of the term ‘tempera’, their sources and materials and their role models
  • relations between individual painting techniques or working processes and the artistic content

4. A closer look at the material: Methods for the scientific investigation of complex binder mixtures and materials in multilayered works of art. Progress and challenges in analysis and interpretation of analytical results.

To better understand the tempera revival and its consequences for 19th and 20th-century art, the conference aims to create an interdisciplinary platform for knowledge exchange. A program of lectures and poster presentations will be complemented by practical workshops on tempera painting based on historic recipes as well as guided tours to Munich galleries, where we will explore the visual effects of tempera paints in 19th and early 20th-century works of art.

Art historians, technical art historians, conservators, and conservation and academic scientists are invited to submit abstracts in English, of maximum 500 words, for lectures or posters by 31 May 2017. 

They must contain the title, name(s) of author(s) and indicate the kind of contribution intended (lecture or poster). All contributions will be held in English. Help for translations of lecture manuscripts can be provided on request. Please send the abstracts together with a short biography (max 100 words) by 31 May 2017 to


We intend to publish all lectures and posters as postprints.

Young researchers can be supported with travel grants (max. 350€ each). Their applications should contain the above-mentioned abstract, the short biography and a short description of the individual scientific or scholarly interest (the latter max. 100 words).

Click HERE  for further information.