Panel Painting

The origins of panel painting go back to painted retables. As early as the 9th century it was already common practice to place portable reliquaries on a church’s originally freestanding block altar. After the late 11th century, the mortal remains of saints were translated from their tombs and embedded in precious shrines that were installed in a raised position behind the altar. These were followed by panels that framed the shrine with pictorial representations or scenes from the life of a saint. Early retables were mostly made of precious metal or stone; painted wood panels have been preserved since the 13th century. The winged altarpieces with two and later also four wings developed around the mid-13th century; the precious interiors were only shown on major feast days, otherwise the exterior of the wings was on view.

Altäre und Tafeln

Altäre und Tafeln

The Large Friedberg Altarpiece, Middle Rhine, 1370/80, overall view

Altäre und Tafeln

The Ortenberg Altarpiece, Middle Rhine, circa 1410, left wing

Altäre und Tafeln

The Ortenberg Altarpiece, Middle Rhine, circa 1410, right wing

Altäre und Tafeln

The Ortenberg Altarpiece, Middle Rhine, circa 1410, centre

Altäre und Tafeln

The Ortenberg Altarpiece, Middle Rhine, circa 1410, um 1410, overall view

Altäre und Tafeln

Worms Panels, Middle Rhine, 1260. Saint Nicholas on the left outer wing

Altäre und Tafeln

Worms Panels, Middle Rhine, 1260. Saint Peter on the inner right wing, flanking the unknown, missing central panel/central shrine

Altäre und Tafeln

Worms Panels, Middle Rhine, 1260. Saint Stephan on the right outer wing

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