A Colossal Sale by the Heirs of a Dealer
The heirs of the legendary dealer Ileana Sonnabend have parted with some $600 million worth of paintings and sculptures in two transactions to cover their estate taxes. Above, Roy Lichtenstein’s “Eddie Diptych” (1962).
- A work consisting of two painted or carved panels that are hinged together.
- An ancient writing tablet having two leaves hinged together.
- A list of names, originally contained on such a tablet, of living and dead Christians for whom special prayers are made during the liturgy in many eastern and western churches.
[Late Latin diptycha, from Greek diptukha, from neuter pl. of diptukhos, folded double : di-, two; see di–1 + ptukhē, fold (from ptussein, ptukh-, to fold).]
Two wood, ivory or metal panels of equal size, usually hinged together so that they can be folded, and closed with some form of clasp. There are usually images on the inside surfaces of the panels and sometimes also on the outer sides. The panels are most commonly vertical rectangles; Gothic examples often have gables, while those from the 15th century may be round-headed.
A diptych is any object with two flat plates attached at a hinge. Devices of this form were quite popular in the ancient world, types existing for recording notes and for measuring time and direction. The term is also used figuratively for a thematically-linked sequence of two books.
Note: This article discusses diptyches in the first sense. For paintings arranged in such a way, see polyptych.
A triptych (pronounced "trip-tick," from the Greek tri- "three" + ptychē "fold") is a work of art (usually a panel painting) which is divided into three sections, or three carved panels which are hinged together. The central panel is the most important one, and this is flanked on either side by two lesser but related paintings.