World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Winged altar

Article Id: WHEBN0047604871
Reproduction Date:

Title: Winged altar  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Waidhofen an der Ybbs, Basilica of St. Giles, Altars, Altar (Catholicism), Church architecture
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Winged altar

Krakow High Altar by Veit Stoß: wings with reliefs and altar shrine with wood carvings
Winged altar of St. Wolfgang's Church in Schneeberg: painted panels
1540 Gotha panel altar with 157 individual scenes, displayed in the Ducal Museum in Gotha

The winged altar (also folding altar) or winged retable is a special form of retable, common in Central Europe, in which the fixed shrine or corpus can be enclosed by two (triptych), four (pentaptych) or more (polyptych) movable wings. The technical terms are derived from Ancient Greek: τρίς: trís or "triple"; πέντε: pénte or "five"; πολύς: polýs or "many"; and πτυχή: ptychē or "fold, layer".[1] Because the winged altar can display different scenes on weekdays, Sundays or holidays, based on the motifs and type of decoration (painted panels or reliefs), it is also called a liturgical altar. An altarpiece is often mounted on the altar shrine, but more usually it has a carving (carved altar). Above the retable may be found the crowning or superstructure, pinnacles and flowers of the cross. Relics can be housed below it, in a reliquary in the predella lying on the altar stone.


  • Examples 1
  • Literature 2
  • References 3
  • See also 4
  • External links 5



  • Herbert Schindler: The Schnitzaltar. Meisterwerke und Meister in Süddeutschland, Österreich und Südtirol. Verlag Friedrich Pustet, Regensburg 1978. ISBN 3-7917-0754-X
  • Karl-Werner Bachmann, Géza Jászai, Friedrich Kobler, Catheline Périer-D'Ieteren, Barbara Rommé, Norbert Wolf: Flügelretable, in: Reallexikon zur Deutschen Kunstgeschichte, Vol. 9, 2003, ISBN 3-406-14009-2, cols. 1450–1536.


  1. ^ Wilhelm Gemoll (1965) (in German), Griechisch-Deutsches Schul- und Handwörterbuch, München/Wien: G. Freytag Verlag/Hölder-Pichler-Tempsky 

See also

External links

  • Website des Kirchspiels Felsberg: Felsberg winged altar
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.