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retable

[ri-tey-buh l, ree-tey-] /rɪˈteɪ bəl, ˈriˌteɪ-/
noun
1.
a decorative structure raised above an altar at the back, often forming a frame for a picture, bas-relief, or the like, and sometimes including a shelf or shelves, as for ornaments.
Origin of retable
1815-1825
1815-25; < French, equivalent to Old French re(re) at the back (< Latin retrō) + table table; compare Medieval Latin retrōtabulum
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for retable
Historical Examples
  • Above the retable is the Madonna with two saints on either side: the crucifix surmounts the whole composition.

    Donatello

    David Lindsay, Earl of Crawford
  • The retable has two miracle reliefs, and between them a small bronze Christ, which has been put there in error.

    Donatello

    David Lindsay, Earl of Crawford
  • The candlesticks, in churches where lights at the Holy Communion are used, stand at the ends of the retable.

    The Worship of the Church

    Jacob A. Regester
  • In the ancient Abbey Church are two masterpieces, a retable in carved wood and a tomb ornamented with exquisite statuettes.

    East of Paris Matilda Betham-Edwards
  • Another exquisite example of wood carving may be seen in the chapel of Notre-Dame de Compassion, forming the retable.

    The Churches of Paris S. Sophia Beale
  • On the retable at the foot of the reredos, stand two massive candlesticks of silver gilt.

British Dictionary definitions for retable

retable

/rɪˈteɪbəl/
noun
1.
an ornamental screenlike structure above and behind an altar, esp one used as a setting for a religious picture or carving
Word Origin
C19: from French, from Spanish retablo, from Latin retrō behind + tabula board; see rear1, table
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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9
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