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In architecture, a long, covered space open on one side, such as a portico or a colonnade. It may be recessed into a wall or elevated on columns or corbels, and it often serves as a passageway. Within an interior, a gallery may be a platform or upper floor projecting from a wall (e.g., in a legislative house) with seating for spectators. In a church nave, the long, narrow platforms supported by colonnades are called tribune galleries. In a theatre, the gallery is the highest balcony and generally has the cheapest seats. Galleries appeared in Renaissance houses as long, narrow rooms used both as promenades and to exhibit art. The modern art gallery is their descendant.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on gallery, visit Britannica.com.