Italian Varnish Medium - 50ml/150ml


Italian Varnish is not a picture varnish but rather a gel oil painting medium.

Italian Varnish was first mentioned by Jean-François-Léonor Mérimée in his 1839 book, The art of painting in oil and in fresco, as a “strong oil prepared in Italy from a very remote period, and which possesses the double-advantage of drying well, and preventing the flowing about of the most liquid glazing.” Italian Varnish is made using linseed oil, litharge (lead monoxide), wax and a small amount of gum turpentine, ground as fine as possible. 

It is an amber gel medium that performs similarly to Maroger medium, except instead of mastic, this medium incorporates wax, which is ideal for those artists who prefer a thicker painting consistency and faster drying time.

Italian Varnish sets quickly, while providing translucency and body to oil colors when mixed with them in glazes. It gives a somewhat fluffy consistency to paint, making possible many different ways of using this subtle technique. In addition to the soft sheen of the medium, the artist now also has the means of more rapid execution. Artists can mix the Italian Varnish into light pigments (Lead White, Lead-Tin Yellow, Naples Yellow, Yellow Ocher, etc.) to give these colors more body and a thicker consistency.

It can help to build up the lights and adds translucency and impasto for the brightest passages of a painting.

Customer Reviews

Based on 10 reviews
Steve Lympany
Great service!

Excellent service. Really nicely and carefully packaged. Looking forward to trying out the Italian Varnish (plus other Rublev paints)

Service supply and quality.

I received an excellent service from the very beginning. The customer service is absolutely second to none. The timing of my orders arrival was splendid. My order was well packaged. Every detail of their customer care was absolutely wonderful. I cannot recommend The Supreme Paint Company and their staff highly enough.

Niall Crawford

Italian Varnish Medium - 50ml/150ml

Simon Smith
Great product and service

Interesting medium for oil paint and I'm looking forward to fully exploring its use. The packing and service was super as usual. Thanks to James.

Paul Corfield
A great medium

I do work that requires very smooth blending and this medium has been the best one I've found for my technique. I've experimented over the years with all sorts of mediums and I've settled on Oleogel for oiling out and Italian Varnish Medium for adding to my paint. Both are great mediums in their own right and I get excellent results when used together. Well packaged, speedy delivery and good communication.

Great service and great medium!

As to be expected great service, super quick delivery and excellently packed! Very happy! A great traditional medium to increase flow and dries relatively quick to a desirable low gloss/satin finish. Would recommend!

Sean Molloy
Prompt service and great ecological packaging

I received my order today 8th June, less than a week after placing the order.
The items were carefully packaged in a small cardboard box, not a bit of plastic in sight. Inside this cardboard box another smaller box containing two tubes, one painting medium (Italian) and the other and ancient paint recipe (Ceruse) beautifully wrapped in brown paper. I know that I'm putting rather a lot of emphasis on the packaging but it's important that companies like 'the Supreme pAint Co.' are acknowledged for the care taken in using recyclable and compostable materials in a time when, as a visual artist, there's so much bubble-wrap and such other plastics clogging up the studio, necessary I know, when we want to send our works to shows locally and abroad. I'd like to start a trend where we can use environmentally-friendly packaging to wrap our works in. Anyway, I salute you 'the Supreme pAint Co.' for an excellent service all around products and packaging. I'm going to spread the word. Thank you

Italian Varnish Medium

Very happy with this medium , gives a great flow to the paint application , good value, excellent delivery service

Derek Richards
great medium

Great paint medium, and speedy delivery service.
Many thanks.

Christian da Cruz - Kirschbaum
5 star

Italian Varnish Medium - 50ml/150ml

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