Don't Know What a Triptych is? You've Probably Seen Them Before

  Aug 07, 2019

The word “Triptych” originated from Ancient Greek τρίπτυχος (tríptukhos, "consisting of three layers, threefold"), from τρι- (tri-) + πτυχή (ptukhḗ, "a fold"). While the etymology of the word triptych has its origins in ancient Greece, the term began to be used during medieval times, to name a tablet used by the ancient Romans to write and consisted of three panels.

In the Middle Ages, the triptych is used for altarpieces. Composed of a large central panel and two smaller panels painted inside the folding doors, the number of shutters recalls the Holy Trinity in the Christian religion. The panels were often hinged so they could be closed and the works of art protected. The triptychs were also used by painters belonging to the Flemish school (which covered the final Gothic style, the Baroque, the Renaissance and Mannerism) during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Unfortunately, a large part of the works carried out at that time showed considerable deterioration or do not retain all their parts. The triptych was very common in Flemish painting in the 15th and 16th centuries, especially with sacred art motifs such as, for example, the work Descent from the Cross by the Flemish painter Roger van der Weyden.

Tables that consist of two sheets are known as diptychs, while those that have more than three sheets are called polyptychs. The triptychs were very common among the Romans, who considered them luxury items. Consular is known to the diptychs or triptychs that the consuls of the empire gave to their friends as a bonus. Triptych is a picture consisting of three parts. They are united by a common plot, as well as the execution and the colors used. This kind of polyptych appeared before our era. The first samples by time belonging to the era of ancient Greece and Rome. However, compositions created at the time of the birth of Christianity have reached the present day. Time and identified the main plots used to create paintings. Such paintings were used for the decoration of temples, located from Byzantium to Western Britain.

Most often, such compositions were placed at the altar. During the Gothic period, such walls and bas-reliefs decorated the walls of cathedrals. The form of the composition is also characteristic of the decoration of the windows of churches in the mosaic technique. Composed of two or three panels, the diptychs or triptychs, of their Greek etymology "ptykhos" to bend, are works in several parts (two or three). If assembled panels can form a single scene, they can sometimes be self-sufficient. They remain linked together by a visual coherence.

Significance of Triptych

With respect to these works, there is a great deterioration or disappearance of some of its panels. To look at a triptych is the equivalent of seeing through a window: we see the exterior landscape through the hole delimited by the wall; In turn, the overture is divided into rectangular glasses that are modulated thanks to the metallic carpentry. These fine lines do not prevent us from having a clear vision of the whole. This perception is, in part, that the proportion of opaque zone (the frames) is negligible compared to the transparent zone (which in the background is what interests us: the exterior view)

Themes in Triptych

The form of the triptych was widely used in sculpture, poetry and other forms of art. Later, religious themes faded into the background, and scenes from high life and landscapes began to appear on canvases.

Used by artists to tell a story in different times, to show the progression of a subject or to confront several points of view, painted or carved, the multiple painting is needed for several centuries as the privileged place of expression of religious painting. It is found later in both classical and modern art.

Forms of Triptych

The format of the triptych has inspired designs that are far from writing and painting, as with certain pendants and ornaments. Very often they present in their central part an image or a figure, which is protected by the sides, once they fold towards the middle as if it were two doors.

The modern notion of the triptych is associated with any three-leaf publication, whose two side sheets can be folded over the center sheet. Triptychs are very common for the development of advertising catalogs or informative materials.

Reasons to use a triptych in art

Triptychs are also known as collage canvas printing in modern times. The way an artist uses the three panels of a triptych can change. Sometimes they can flow together to form a single unified scene, or they can each act as a separate image. Typically, there is a strong sense of optical integrity.

The artist can use a triptych for one of the following reasons:

  • To give the art an outline, in the beginning, middle and end of a story.

  • To continue a topic in three parts.

  • To edit a topic from different perspectives or with different techniques.

  • To show the progress of a subject, such as its growth or decline.

  • To present three different elements that are interconnected and complementary.

  • To divide a very large piece for easier transportation, storage, and presentation.

How to design and present a triptych

Whenever you create a multi-piece artwork, it's important to maintain consistency in each piece. Without a stylistic or technical element that connects the individual panels, the last piece loses its effect on the viewer. Triptychs can be overwhelming or confusing if the format is not used wisely.

Two popular paths to continuity are a constant horizon line or a constant background, a consistent color gamut, a consistent approach to the subject, or a continuity of the topic.

It is also important that the pieces are presented in the same way. Use the same background for each board: board and canvas are popular with painters; Drawings and paintings on paper should also use a consistent material. Even with photos, the print medium is important and should be used consistently.

Each part of the series should also have a similar frame and suspension to achieve a specific look. The suspension should be placed so that the parts can be easily hung in a uniform row.

Rules are there to break

  • Some artists choose to format all three panels the same size. Others prefer two outer panels with narrower widths on the sides of a wider middle section.

  • Triptychs are traditionally hung in portrait format and are naturally viewed from left to right. However, with the right design and the right composition, a vertical arrangement can also be a nice exhibit.

  • While artists often experiment with the width of the panel, the height is usually uniform. But even here, the right centerpiece can fit well with the sidewalls, which are a few inches shorter if you hang them right against the wall.

Why buy a triptych?

About tastes, there is nothing written and the truth is that what matters most when buying a painting is to be sure of what it will transmit to us every time we look at it. However, the paintings in three parts stand out for being a modern art that leaves a touch of elegance in any environment in which we place one.

It is increasingly common to see these types of paintings on canvas because they really do very well and there are thousands of beautiful designs. In addition, thousands of techniques are used, some a little more elaborate and others in photographic prints but of very high quality, which makes them a little cheaper and equally beautiful.

Other types of Triptych

Nowadays, people also use the triptych style for advertising as well. The leaflets are used as informative brochures, where the visual possibilities offered by the fact that the brochure can be folded are used, are all a different type of triptych.

Structure of an information triptych

There are structures to organize the information included in an information triptych:

  • First, the symbol that identifies the organization or its name with the slogan or phrase chosen for the campaign is located on the cover or top face.

  • Inside the triptych, the information they want to disseminate with the corresponding explanatory graphics is developed. This is the broadest section of the booklet, which allows you to use different visual tools that increase the interest of the reader.

  • Finally, the information and data that will be useful for the contact, such as email address, telephone numbers, physical location of the company and names of representatives, are placed on the back cover

What we offer

Our artists are always in the trend and offer you a collection of triptychs painting design! With real brushstrokes, these modern painting triptychs will be the perfect piece of art for a contemporary and design interior. The relief is accentuated by the effects of painting on these contemporary triptychs that give a colorful and unique rendering entirely realized by hand. These decorative triptychs are in several panels and will be installed very easily on one of your white walls.

Don't Know What a Triptych is? You've Probably Seen Them Before


Rhoner is an Internet Marketer.

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