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A size or glaze made from egg white. Glair is prepared by beating egg white with a little water and allowing it to stand overnight. Some recipes add a small amount of vinegar. Glair becomes tackier, and more odorous, the longer it stands. Glair has been used as a sizing for gilding, as a binder for manuscript illumination paints, and as a thin glaze. It is a weak binder and cracks in low humidity.

FTIR glair with kaolin(MFA)

Glair (Gettens 52-17), with kaolin.TIF

Synonyms and Related Terms

clara de ovo (Port.); glaire

Resources and Citations

  • R. J. Gettens, G.L. Stout, Painting Materials, A Short Encyclopaedia, Dover Publications, New York, 1966
  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)