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Published by: ionserbaneci on Jun 29, 2011
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Ornamental panel behind an altar and, in the more limited sense, the shelf behind an altar on which are
placed the crucifix, candlesticks, and other liturgical objects. The panel is usually made of wood or stone,
though sometimes of metal, and is decorated with paintings, statues, or mosaics depicting the Crucifixion
or a similar subject. Although frequently forming part of the architectural structure of the church,
especially in the High Gothic period, retables can be detached and, sometimes, as in the case of the
famous retable by Hubert and Jan van Eyck, "The Adoration of the Lamb" (1432, Cathedral of Saint-
Bavon, Ghent), consist merely of a painting. Probably the most well-known retable is that in the Basilica

of St Mark in Venice, which is one of the most remarkable examples in existence of the craft of the
jeweler and goldsmith. Originally commissioned in 976, the St. Mark's retable was enlarged and enriched
in the 13th century. With the development of freestanding altars, retables have become extinct.

rilievo (It. "relief")

In painting, the impression that an object is three-dimensional, that it stands out from its background fully

rocaille (French, literally, for "pebble")

Small stone and shell motifs in some eighteenth century ornamentation.

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