al·​tar·​piece | \ ˈȯl-tər-ˌpēs How to pronounce altarpiece (audio) \

Definition of altarpiece

: a work of art that decorates the space above and behind an altar

Examples of altarpiece in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Little is known about the painting’s past, but the press release states it was crafted in the late medieval style and probably belonged to a larger altarpiece. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, "Nativity Scene Discovered Beneath 16th-Century Painting of John the Baptist’s Beheading," 20 Dec. 2019 Those images in turn formed the basis for an investigation into applying AI analysis to the altarpiece images by researchers at Duke University, the National Gallery, and University College London. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "How AI helps unlock the secrets of Old Master and modernist paintings," 27 Dec. 2019 But its expression wasn’t the only aspect of the painting modified in the 16th-century overpainting process: Conservators found that roughly 70 percent of the altarpiece’s original panels had been obscured by the 1550 paint job, McGivern reports. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Ghent Altarpiece Restorations Reveal the Alarmingly Humanoid Face of the Famous Mystic Lamb," 23 Dec. 2019 During the Renaissance, altarpieces were made to tell holy stories, to imbue illiterate churchgoers with narratives and images that held up a moral code and a hierarchy of power., "SIMON DINNERSTEIN: THE FULBRIGHT TRIPTYCH," 31 Oct. 2019 Korkow said research shows that the painting likely belonged to the sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini, known for his spectacular Baroque fountains and altarpieces in Rome. Steven Litt, cleveland, "Cleveland Museum of Art snags Italian Mannerist masterpiece from London dealers, filling a major collection gap," 16 Oct. 2019 The church felt like an old barn; only the elaborate altarpiece, made entirely of adobe, revealed its real purpose. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, "From Buenos Aires to the Chilean Coast: A Road Trip Across South America," 22 Aug. 2019 There will be a through-line, the curators stressed, even as Linkof presented a slide that showed an ancient Greek vase inscribed with a tale of the Pantheon, next to an altarpiece panel telling the story of the Virgin Mary, next to a comic book. Todd Martens,, "Originally planned for Chicago, Lucas Museum gives the Comic-Con crowd a peek at new L.A. site," 24 July 2019 At the end of the 19th century, the altarpiece was separated into parts by a saw and eight of the nine resulting panels were sold to different collectors. Quanta Magazine, "Using Mathematics to Repair a Masterpiece," 29 Sep. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'altarpiece.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of altarpiece

1624, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of altarpiece was in 1624

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Last Updated

28 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Altarpiece.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 28 January 2020.

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with altarpiece Encyclopedia article about altarpiece

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showing steady, earnest care and effort

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