Triptych art is made up of three panels that are intended to be displayed together. Triptych Art was a common feature in the christian church where it was used as an altar-piece. In traditional ways, the two outer panels were attached on the middle panel by hinges and were both folded over it. This was a clever move which displayed two different paintings on the back.
Triptych art can also be defined as a work of art, usually panel paintings divided into three sections. Triptych art was often carved wood in three panels that are hinged together so the artist can either decide to leave them open or fold shut them.
We can refer to a triptych as a kind of polyptych, a name given to all multi-panel works. The middle panel in triptych serves as the largest and has two smaller but related works on either side, however there are many triptychs of equal-sized panels.
The triptych form is also frequently used when creating pendant jewelry.
Triptych Art History
The triptych form has its roots planted in early Christian art. Triptych art in its early form was a popular standard format for altar paintings and reached its hight during the middle ages. The art was prevalent in Eastern Byzantine churches and it was also common in English Celtic churches.
Renaissance painters and sculptors especially Hieronymus Bosch and Hans Memling used this form to create their art pieces. When it comes to transporting the art piece, Triptych art work was easily transported as it would fold into one piece.
Since the Gothic era and forward, triptych art was embraced by the christian church all over Europe and other lands. Triptych altarpieces could be found in both cathedrals and churches all over europe.
One cathedral that stands out, is the Llandaff Cathedral that had a famously beautiful triptych altarpiece. Today, the Cathedral of Our Lady in Antwerp, Belgium, still has two triptych art samples done by Rubens.
Notre Dame de Paris is a sample of triptych art done in architecture. As you will see with many cathedrals, triptych art echoed in the structure of many ecclesiastical stained glass windows. As much as triptych art was first strongly defined as a form of altarpiece art, triptychs falling outside this context have been made and become popular. Great examples belong to Francis Bacon, Hieronymus Bosch and Max Beckmann.
When triptych art form is applied to photography, it takes the form of three pictures. There are no stead fast rules to a triptych photography display. One method consists of three mounted photographs in a frame, the 3 photos are closely associated in subject matter and are displayed near each other. Alternatively the triptych can be a collection of three pictures featured in a singular image.
Triptych photography as a form of display is relatively new in that photography it self is quite young, from a historical standpoint. The pictures featured in a photo triptych usually consist of a common theme. The pictures should either tell a story, have a similar design feature such as color, or some unifying feature that brings the collection together.
Triptych photography often features perspective of objects and their positioned in the photograph. One example is having the first pictures perspective is that of an object facing the right side, the second picture can feature the same object facing the camera and the third picture can showcase the same object facing the left side.
In this order, the pictures shows the objects front being showcased, however, the in-ward facing sides of the object on either side creates a compositional frame by inferring a boxed-in middle shot. Photographers often use compositional elements in such a manner when they want to successfully create an overall effect in their triptych photo.
Triptych Photography as a form is frequently used in fine art photography where the artists vision is paramount. The triptych format is also frequently used in ascetically pleasing photographs such as Landscape Photography, Nature Photography and Seascape Photography where the beauty of the picture is displayed in a different format.
There are no real rules in Triptych art and Triptych Photography, anything goes.
About Triptych Art