retable

retable
/ri tay"beuhl, ree"tay'-/, n.
a decorative structure raised above an altar at the back, often forming a frame for a picture, bas-relief, or the like, and sometimes including a shelf or shelves, as for ornaments.
[1815-25; < F, equiv. to OF re(re) at the back ( < L retro) + table TABLE; cf. ML retrotabulum]

* * *

▪ religious art
 ornamental panel behind an altar and, in the more limited sense, the shelf behind an altar on which are placed the crucifix, candlesticks, and other liturgical objects. The panel is usually made of wood or stone, though sometimes of metal, and is decorated with paintings, statues, or mosaics depicting the Crucifixion or a similar subject. Although frequently forming part of the architectural structure of the church, especially in the High Gothic period, retables can be detached and, sometimes, as in the case of the famous retable by Hubert and Jan van Eyck, “The Adoration of the Lamb” (1432; also known as the “Ghent Altarpiece,” Cathedral of Saint-Bavon, Ghent [see photograph—>]), consist merely of a painting. Probably the most well-known retable is that in the Basilica of St. Mark in Venice, which is one of the most remarkable examples in existence of the craft of the jeweler and goldsmith. Originally commissioned in 976, the St. Mark's retable was enlarged and enriched in the 13th century. With the development of freestanding altars, retables have become extinct in contemporary church architecture. See also altarpiece.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • RETABLE — À l’origine, le retable était un simple rebord situé à l’arrière de l’autel où l’on posait les objets liturgiques. Puis l’habitude se développa d’y placer des reliques et des images vénérables. Le retable devient, au Moyen Âge, un véritable écran …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Rétable — Retable Gand : retable de l Agneau mystique par Van Eyck …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Retable — Re*ta ble (r[ e]*t[=a] b l), n. (Eccl.) A shelf behind the altar, for display of lights, vases of flowers, etc. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Retable — (fr., spr. Retabbel), 1) die Thüren eines Altargemäldes, welche dasselbe bedecken u. gewöhnlich auf ihrer innern Seite wieder ein Gemälde enthalten; 2) ein auf ähnliche Weise eingerichteter Bilderrahmen …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Retable — (franz., spr. rötábl ), die Türen eines Altargemäldes, die auf der innern Seite ein Gemälde oder ein Skulpturwerk enthalten; dann auch der ganze Altar und Bilderrahmen, die auf ähnliche Weise eingerichtet sind …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Retable — (frz., ábl), Altarblatt, Schreinaufsatz …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Retable — (retabl), frz., die Thüren, welche ein Altargemälde bedecken …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • retable — [ri tā′bəl] n. [Fr < Sp retablo < re , behind (< L re , back) + tabla, shelf < L tabula: see TABLE] GRADINE (sense 2) …   English World dictionary

  • Retable — Gand : retable de l Agneau mystique par Van Eyck …   Wikipédia en Français

  • RETABLE — n. m. Pièce d’architecture contre laquelle est appuyé l’autel et dont le fond, placé au dessus de l’autel, contient un tableau, un bas relief, une statue. Retable doré. Retable de marbre. Retable de menuiserie. Par extension se dit aussi d’un… …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 8eme edition (1935)

  • RETABLE — s. m. Ornement d architecture contre lequel est appuyé l autel, et qui enferme ordinairement un tableau. Retable doré. Retable de marbre. Retable de menuiserie …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 7eme edition (1835)

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”