Medium: Mixed Media
Painting a Triptych
Earlier last week I committed myself to a project, which is completely different to anything I have attempted before. My sister requested an Asian semi-abstract triptych for her 40th birthday, which we will celebrate tonight and the above image is the result. I am always thankful for situations that push me to explore new themes, which inevitably teaches me new skills. My sister requested a predominately brown colour scheme but I just had to include red. I hand over my efforts tonight and I am crossing my fingers, hoping she likes what I came up with. Wish me luck!
What is a Triptych?
A triptych (pronounced "trip-tick," from the Greek tri- "three" + ptyche "fold") is a work of art (usually a panel painting) which is divided into three sections, or three carved panels which are hinged together. The central panel is the most important one, and this is flanked on either side by two lesser but related paintings.
The triptych form arises from early Christian art, and was the standard format for altar paintings from the Middle Ages onwards. Its geographical range was from the eastern Byzantine churches throughout to the English Celtic church in the west. Renaissance painters and sculptors such as Hans Memling and Hieronymus Bosch used the form.
Altarpieces in churches and cathedrals, both in Europe and elsewhere, since the Gothic period were often in triptych-form. One such cathedral with an altarpiece triptych is Llandaff Cathedral. The Cathedral of Our Lady in Antwerp, Belgium contains two examples by Rubens and Notre Dame de Paris is an example of the use of triptych in architecture. One can also see the form echoed by the structure of many ecclesiastical stained glass windows. The triptych form has since influenced contemporary painters and art photographers.