A triptych (pronounced "trip-tick" IPA2| trip'tik (or US: [ 'tɹʷɪp.dɪk ] ) from the Greek τρίπτυχο [ tri'ptu.xo ] "tri-" "three" + "ptychē" "fold") is a work of art (usually a panel painting) which is divided into three sections, or three carved panels which are hinged together and folded. It is therefore a type of polyptych, the term for all multi-panel works; the diptych has two panels. The middle panel is the larger one and is flanked by two smaller, but related, works. While the root of the word is the ancient Greek "triptychos", the word arose into the medieval period from the name for an Ancient Roman writing tablet, which had two hinged panels flanking a central one. The form can also be used for pendant jewelry.

The triptych form arises from early Christian art, and was the standard format for altar paintings from the Middle Ages onwards. Its geographical range was from the eastern Byzantine churches to the English Celtic churches in the west. Renaissance painters and sculptors such as Hans Memling and Hieronymus Bosch used the form.

From the Gothic period onward, both in Europe and elsewhere, altarpieces in churches and cathedrals were often in triptych form. One such cathedral with an altarpiece triptych is Llandaff Cathedral. The Cathedral of Our Lady in Antwerp, Belgium, contains two examples by Rubens, and Notre Dame de Paris is another example of the use of triptych in architecture. One can also see the form echoed by the structure of many ecclesiastical stained glass windows. The triptych form has since influenced contemporary painters and art photographers, some of whose triptychs don't hinge.

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  • Triptych — (1982 1989) était une jument de course pur sang anglais, née aux États Unis de l union de Riverman et Trillion, par Hail to Reason. Propriété de Alan Clore, elle fut successivement entraînée par David Smaga, David O Brien et Patrick Biancone.… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Triptych — Trip tych, n. [Gr. ? consisting of three layers or plates; ? (see {Tri }) + ?, ?, a fold, layer.] Anything in three parts or leaves. Specifically: (a) A writing tablet in three parts, two of which fold over on the middle part. [1913 Webster] (b)… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • triptych — 1731, hinged, three leaved writing tablet used in ancient Greece and Rome, from Gk. triptykhos three layered, from tri three + ptykhos, gen. of ptyx fold, layer. In reference to three part altar piece carvings or pictures hinged together, it is… …   Etymology dictionary

  • triptych — meaning ‘a painting or carving on three panels’, is pronounced trip tik. The second element is derived from the Greek word ptukhē meaning ‘fold’ …   Modern English usage

  • triptych — ► NOUN 1) a picture or carving on three panels, typically hinged together vertically and used as an altarpiece. 2) a set of three associated artistic, literary, or musical works. ORIGIN originally denoting a set of three writing tablets hinged or …   English terms dictionary

  • triptych — [trip′tik] n. [< Gr triptychos, threefold < tri ,TRI + ptychē (gen. ptychos), a fold] 1. an ancient writing tablet of three leaves hinged together 2. a set of three panels with pictures, designs, or carvings, often hinged so that the two… …   English World dictionary

  • Triptych — Chronic Logic ist eine unabhängige Entwicklergruppe von Computerspielen. Sie wurde 2001 von Alex Austin und Ben Nichols gegründet, nachdem der große Erfolg von Austins Brückenbausimulation Bridge Builder verhieß, dass Interesse an solchen kleinen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Triptych —    An altarpiece composed of three panels that are hinged together so the outer wings can close over the larger central panel. The first triptychs of the Renaissance appeared in Tuscany in the 13th century. These were used for personal devotion… …   Dictionary of Renaissance art

  • triptych — UK [ˈtrɪptɪk] / US noun [countable] Word forms triptych : singular triptych plural triptychs art a painting done on three separate pieces of wood that are joined to each other …   English dictionary

  • triptych — [[t]trɪ̱ptɪk[/t]] triptychs N COUNT A triptych is a painting or a carving on three panels that are usually joined together by hinges …   English dictionary

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