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Toulouse-Lautrec painting
MFA# 40.748


A matte, opaque Watercolor paint that primarily uses Gum arabic, Gum senegal, or Dextrin as a binder. Gouache paints have opaque pigments rather than the transparent pigments used in watercolor paints. Chalk and other white fillers may be added to some colors. Gouache was used for miniature paintings in the 16th-18th centuries. It was also popular for decorative paintings on interior walls and for printing wall paper patterns. Poster paints are an inexpensive version of gouache.

Gouache painted fan
MFA# 43.2081

Synonyms and Related Terms

poster paint; bodycolor; body colour (Br.); Guasch (Deut.); gouache (Fr.); guazzo (It.); guache (Esp., Port.)

Additional Images

Resources and Citations

  • J.Stephenson, "Gouache" The Dictionary of Art Grove's Dictionaries Inc, New York, 1996.
  • R. J. Gettens, G.L. Stout, Painting Materials, A Short Encyclopaedia, Dover Publications, New York, 1966
  • Reed Kay, The Painter's Guide To Studio Methods and Materials, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1983
  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • Hermann Kuhn, Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art and Antiquities, Butterworths, London, 1986
  • George Savage, Art and Antique Restorer's Handbook, Rockliff Publishing Corp, London, 1954
  • Dictionary of Building Preservation, Ward Bucher, ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York City, 1996
  • D. van der Reyden "Identifying the Real Thing" at www.scmre.org/analysis.htm
  • M.Phillips, 'A Survey of Paint Technology', Paint in America, R. Moss, ed., Preservation Press, New York, 1994
  • Conservation termlist : www.hants.org.uk/museums