Show Summary Details

Quick Reference

A stabilizing or preservative agent applied to certain types of works of art—particularly drawings in chalk, charcoal, or pastel—to prevent the pigments from smudging or crumbling, by binding them together and securing them to the ground. Such treatment is most commonly used with pastels, but it tends to reduce their brilliance. Fixatives have been made from various adhesive substances, including dilute egg white, and in the past were usually applied with a brush. Today they are generally produced from synthetic resins and applied by spraying.

Subjects: Art.

Reference entries

See all related reference entries in Oxford Index »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.