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 This exhibition places key works within a reconstructed altarpiece, part of a selection of 45 paintings, sculptures and works on paper — a welcome return from our recent online virtual void to art in real space. Dallas News, "Fall Arts Preview: Find out what to enjoy from our critics and contributors and how to see them safely," 4 Sep. 2020 The Prado owns most of the big paintings from the College of Dona Maria de Aragon, his one Madrid altarpiece. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "El Greco Sizzles in Chicago, in Paris, Not So Much," 15 Aug. 2020 Over the last eight years, conservationists have been meticulously restoring the famed Ghent altarpiece housed in Belgium's St Bavo's Cathedral. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "We can see the true face of Van Eyck Lamb of God after latest restoration," 29 July 2020 Restorer Sofia Lobo discovered the bee nests, called cells, while cleaning the 20-foot-tall altarpiece, or reredos. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "150-Year-Old Mummified Bee Nests Found in Panama City Cathedral," 7 Feb. 2020 The Virgin annunciate, usually overshadowed by the altarpiece’s more colorful panels, appears here as a stand-alone masterpiece. Jason Farago, New York Times, "Jan Van Eyck’s Diamond-Hard Brilliance, as You’ll Never See It Again," 27 Feb. 2020 Jess celebrates the high-minded hedonism of the mid-twentieth-century San Francisco Bay Area avant-garde with a canvas that rivals the enameled richness of a medieval altarpiece. Jed Perl, The New York Review of Books, "Spirits of San Francisco," 10 Mar. 2020 The mummified bee nests were trapped in the altarpiece during restoration work conducted in 1875, five years after a devastating fire damaged parts of the cathedral. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "150-Year-Old Mummified Bee Nests Found in Panama City Cathedral," 7 Feb. 2020 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

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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Cite this Entry

“Altarpiece.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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