Today's poets, today's poems. Share yours, send to email@example.com
A diptych (from the Greek di "two" + ptyche "fold") is any object with two flat plates attached at a hinge. Some modern artists use the term in the title of works consisting of two paintings never actually connected but intended to be hung close together as a pair. (As a literary term it refers to films or pieces of literature that form a complementary pair; when taken together, they are viewed as illuminating each other and comprising a distinct work of art from the individual parts.) Early diptychs were school exercise books consisting of a pair of plates that contained a recessed space filled with wax, upon which writing was made by scratching it with a stylus; later the wax would be slightly heated and then smoothed to allow reuse. Later, ivory notebook diptychs with covers carved in low relief on the outer faces were a significant art-form. These are some of the most important surviving works of the Late Roman Empire .From the Middle Ages many panel paintings took the diptych form, as small portable works for personal use; Byzantine ivory diptychs with religious scenes carved in relief were popular before spreading west during the Gothic period. The ivories tended to have scenes in several registers (vertical layers) crowded with small figures, and the paintings generally had single, matching, subjects on a panel, though by the 15th century one panel (usually the left one) might contain a portrait head of the owner or commissioner, with the Virgin Mary or another religious subject on the other side. The diptych was a common format in Early Durch painting, especially in the 15th and 16th centuries, and depicted subjects ranging from secular portraiture to religious personages and stories; often a portrait and a Madonna and Child had a leaf each. Large altarpieces, however, tended to be made in triptych form, with two outer panels that could be closed across the main central representation.
Join the conversation! What is your reaction to the post?