Triptych
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Triptych 1338

On Display SCOTTISH NATIONAL GALLERY

The small size of this beautifully made altarpiece, used as an aid to prayer and meditation, meant that it was easily portable and could be taken on journeys. The open wings reveal an image of Christ's Crucifixion flanked by smaller scenes. The choice of subjects must have had special significance for the patron. On the left are the Nativity and the Crucifixion of St Peter (he was crucified upside down). Opposite, and rather unusual in a wing, are The Enthroned Virgin and Child with Saints and St Nicholas donating the Dowries (thereby allowing an impoverished nobleman's daughters to marry).

Glossary Open

Altarpiece

An artwork behind a church altar featuring religious scenes or imagery which was usually the focus for the celebration of the Mass.

Nativity

A representation of the birth of Jesus Christ.

Patronage

The support given to artists by an individual or organisation, usually through buying or funding their work.

Altarpiece, Nativity, Patronage

Details

  • Acc. No. NG 1904
  • Medium Tempera, silver (tarnished) and gold on panel
  • Size Wings (left): 58.00 x 15.50 cm (right): 57.70 x 15.20 cm; Centre (inside mouldings): 53.50 x 28.00 cm
  • Credit Purchased 1938