A polyptych (from the Greek "polu-" "many" + "ptychē" "fold") generally refers to a
painting(usually panel painting) which is divided into four or more sections, or panels. (The term diptychis used to describe a two-part painting and the term triptychdescribes a three-part painting. The terms tetraptych (4 parts), pentaptych (5), hexaptych (6), heptaptych (7), and octaptych (8) are also sometimes used.)
Polyptych may also be used to refer collectively to all multi-panel paintings. In most works there is a larger central panel called the "main panel", and the other panels are called "side-panels", and also "wings". Sometimes, as at Ghent or Isenheim, the hinged panels can be arranged in different ways to show different "views" or "openings."
Polyptychs were most common with early
Renaissancepainters, and the majority of polyptychs were designed to be altarpieces in churches and cathedrals. The form was also quite popular among ukiyo-eprintmakers of Edo periodJapan.
Examples of polyptychs include:
Ghent Altarpiece, completed 1432 by Hubert van Eyckand Jan van Eyck- probably the most famous polyptych
Isenheim Altarpieceby Matthias Grünewald
Saint Vincent Panels(1470-1480) by Nuno Gonçalves
* Polyptych of the Misericordia (1445–1462) by
Piero della Francesca
* The Last Judgment Polyptych (1450) by
Rogier van der Weyden
* Saint Augustine Polyptych (1470) by
* The Demidoff Altarpiece (1476), by
* St. Dominic Polyptych (1506–08) by
comic booksand comic stripsa polyptych is a strip, or even an entire comic page, in which the background forms a continuous image even though it may be divided into separate panels; a good example is The Perishers, which often uses polyptychs divided into three panels.
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Look at other dictionaries:
polyptych — [päl′ip tik΄] n. [Gr polyptychos, having many folds < poly (see POLY ) + ptyx, a fold] a set of four or more panels with pictures, carvings, etc. often hinged for folding together, used as an altarpiece, etc … English World dictionary
polyptych — ˈpälə̇pˌtik, pəˈlipt noun ( s) Etymology: Greek polyptychos with many folds, folded many times, from poly + ptychos (akin to Greek ptychē fold, layer) : an arrangement of four or more panels (as of a painting) usually hinged and folding together… … Useful english dictionary
polyptych — noun Etymology: Greek polyptychos having many folds, from poly + ptychē fold, from ptyssein to fold Date: 1859 an arrangement of four or more panels (as of a painting) usually hinged and folding together … New Collegiate Dictionary
polyptych — /pol ip tik/, n. a work of art composed of several connected panels. Cf. diptych, pentaptych, triptych. [1855 60; special use of LL polyptychum < Gk polýptychon a register, roll, n. use of neut. of polýptychos having many folds. See POLY ,… … Universalium
polyptych — noun A work consisting of multiple painted or carved panels joined together, often with hinges … Wiktionary
Polyptych — See Altarpiece … Dictionary of Renaissance art
polyptych — An altarpiece made up of more than three sections. (pr. pohl ip tik) … Glossary of Art Terms
polyptych — [ pɒlɪptɪk] noun a painting, especially an altarpiece, consisting of more than three leaves or panels joined by hinges or folds. Origin C19: from late L. polyptycha (neut. plural) registers , from Gk poluptukhos having many folds … English new terms dictionary
polyptych — po·lyp·tych … English syllables
polyptych — pol•yp•tych [[t]ˈpɒl ɪp tɪk[/t]] n. fia a work of art composed of several connected panels • Etymology: 1855–60; poly + (di) ptych or (tri) ptych … From formal English to slang