The oldest example is found in the Bhimbetka Caves in central India.
Because of telling conditions in the cave, at least two of the cupules almost certainly date back to the Lower Paleolithic, and there is evidence that the remaining nine examples all come from a similar period.
Sienese painter Duccio di Buoninsenga, for instance, one of the key innovators of the Early Renaissance period, employed the tempera medium to great effect in works such as his early fourteenth-century Maestà altarpiece for the Duomo of Siena.
Setting his figures against an impressive gilded backdrop, Duccio showcased a uniformity of color while also featuring the crisp patterns characteristic of works emerging from the medieval aesthetic.
Hiking up to the ruined ramparts of Shahr-e-Gholghola - the City of Screams, which was destroyed by Genghis Khan in the 13th century - Ibrahim stopped to catch his breath and picked up a spent bullet shell from the ground, one of many Soviet-era casings that litter the windswept trail overlooking the sandstone cliffs and snow-clad pyramids of the Hindu Kush range.
But no chance if you have government or foreign connections,' said Azad, 24, a telecom official who recently made the perilous journey from Kabul.
Art is almost as old as people, and at our best, we seek to protect and preserve it wherever we find it.
The older it is, the more precious it is, because of what it can teach us about people long gone.
From ancient Egypt to the Indus River valley, historic global cultures made use of tempera paint and experimented with variations, a tradition that continued through the Middle Ages and even extended into the fifteenth century and the Renaissance era.
Accordingly, some of the finest examples of painting from art history reflect the use of this medium.