Art Term


A diptych is an artwork consisting of two painted or carved panels

David Salle
Calm Down in a Diary (Diptych) (1982)
Lent by the American Fund for the Tate Gallery, courtesy of Douglas S. Cramer 2010

These can be attached together or presented adjoining each other.

In medieval times, panels were often hinged so that they could be closed and the artworks protected.

Altarpieces, paintings placed on or behind the altar of a Christian church as a focus for worship, are often in diptych (or triptych) form. The separate panels show different but related scenes, often from the life of Christ or the life of the Virgin Mary.

Selected artworks in the collection