The retable is a vertical construction which carries decorations carved or painted behind table of furnace bridge. L' etymology of the word translates besides its position ( Re -: “behind”). Le devoted Italian term is pala even pala of altar , although retablo exists also resulting from Latin retro tabula altaris . It is frequent that a retable is composed of several shutters, two for a Diptyque, three for a Triptyque even more for a Polyptyque.
Liturgical directionThe altar stone is the symbol of the Christ, and in the Liturgie Christian primitive it was interdict to pose anything there. At the 9th century a pontifical authorization admits the exposure of a hunting on the side furnace bridges. At the end of the 11th century one placed a wall elevated and historiée behind the side furnace bridges. With the Reform and the new practice of the mystery of the eucharistie the possibility opens of putting a retable behind the Master furnace bridge, the high clergy was not more behind but in front of the Master furnace bridge.
Composition of a retable
Since the 14th century, the interior of the corresponding bin and face of the shutters are divided in vertical compartments comprising of the carved reliefs which are crowned by finely cut architectonic decorations. The reverse of the shutters or doors is equipped with painted panels. Judging that the handling of the shutters was too heavy, their interior sculptures were more and more often replaced by paintings.
The retables of ordering of the end of the Gothic time are equipped with a double pair of doors; the interior of first is occupied by reliefs carved while outside forms, with the interior of the second doors, polyptyque paints that one also can fermer.
The case of a retable is always of form rectangular. Since the end of the 13th century, the central span is elevated. The shaped framing of the bin evolved however to the accodance. The contour of the closed shutters wife narrowly that of the former part of the case.
PrédelleIt is the lower part of the retable, developed horizontally, which is used as support with the principal panels. It can be made up of only one board in length, or several elements.
UseThe reverse of the shutters was frequently painted in greyness, color connected at the liturgical periods of Pénitence during which the retables remained closed. It is only during certain times of the liturgical year - cycles of great religious holidays and that or feastdays of the owner of a church of a guild or corporation which had a furnace bridge - that the retables remained open; the glare of gold and polychromy contributed to accentuate the significance of the commemoration or the liturgical festival.
ManufactureAt the 15th century the execution of a retable was a company which engaged various people. Initially, the huchier who makes the case and the cabinetmaker who carries out decorative joinery; then, the imagier cuts the reliefs according to a model delivered by a painter; the polychromor and the gilder follow who packs the whole; they are paid more than the sculptor or the painter because they work the expensive gold sheet; finally the painter delivers the painted panels of the shutters.
At the beginning of the 17th century, is born a new element from interior decoration of church: the marble and micaceous chalk retable which will make the fame of the architects Laval-native in all the west of the France.
- Ghent: retable of the brothers Van Eyck
- Naves in Corrèze
- Notre-Dame de Kerdévot with Ergué-Gabéric: from Antwerp retable
- old convent of the Dominican with Colmar (Museum of Unterlinden): Retable of Issenheim
Internal bonds towards photographs
- the retables Spanish baroques
- the Italian retables, the baroques, those of Milan
- the German retables, the baroques
- the retables Polish baroques
- the Austrian retables (baroques, Gothics and rococo)
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