Egg tempera paint goes back to the ancient Egyptians. Up until the 1500s, it was the primary medium for European Medieval and Early Renaissance painters.
Eggs are a perishable food item, yet artworks in this medium are incredibly durable. Paintings from the first century A.D. have survived to the 21st century in pristine condition.
This portrait is created by the traditional method. A wooden panel is cut and meticulously prepared with several coatings of gesso (pigment, chalk, and glue).
Egg yolk is separated from the white by hand. The yolk sac is pierced, and the yolk is mixed with water and powdered pigments. All paint must be mixed as needed for the individual painting session.
The pigments used in this portrait are umbers and other naturally occurring colors that would have been available 500 years ago.