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triptych


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A picture or carving consisting of three parts, usually a central panel flanked by wings (or folding shutters). As with the diptych, the folding triptych lent itself to the making of portable altarpieces: the delicate inner surfaces were protected by the outer leaves, although these might be painted or carved on their outer as well as their inner surfaces. Some triptychs, however, are very large, for example the two by Rubens in Antwerp Cathedral. See also polyptych.

Subjects: Art.


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