In Antiquity, the pictorial techniques develop, the practices are codified little by little to give rise to the history of the painting which we experienced still today. All the old companies of the Mediterranean know and practise will tempera it, a technique based on water and sometimes of egg. The wax, which avoids the crumbling of the pictorial layer, is also employed. The pigments are generally of mineral origin and in order to obtain various nuances, one heats them more or less, one reduces them out of powder and one mixes them. The majority of the preserved fabrics of this time are murals, but one also practised this art on removable objects like fabrics, the pieces of furniture, the muds, the papyruses and, later, about the 7th century, on parchments. It is also known that, since Greek antiquity, one often paints the sculptures and the frontages of the most significant monuments.
With the Middle Ages, one improves and one adapts the techniques of old. In the case of murals, according to the nature of the pigments, one often associates the two
techniques : dry and with fresco. Painting on removable wood panels meets little by little a greater success near the sleeping partners. It also allows a greater circulation of works, and thus the possibility, for the artists, to grow rich by the experiments of the others. In certain cases, one juxtaposes gold sheets to the coloured layers, which increases the value of the object and grows the prestige of the figures represented.
Remainder the dominant practice in painting will tempera on panels until the end of the 16th century. One uses water or adhesive like only médiums, but painting is then not very resistant and very sensitive to the hygrometrical variations. One thus prefers often to add egg. The yellow allows the emulsion (with oil and vinegar) and the white, insoluble to water, gives glare to the colors. The receipts are very numerous. One can add beeswax, lime, starch, casein or any other kind of substance. On the wood panels, one is often constrained to employ a coating called gessoduro made up of plaster mingled with adhesive. The colors of will tempera are rather matt, they lose their tone in little time. Little by little, the number of the pigments employed increased. They are of mineral origin, natural or burned grounds, animal stones, or animal, residues. Before incorporating them in the medium, it is necessary to crush them lengthily what one names softening.