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retable

retable (rēˈtābəl) [key], frame for decorative panels at the back of an altar in European churches. Retables, often sumptuously decorated in alabaster and gold, generally contained scenes from the Bible. An altarpiece made of fixed panels may also be termed a retable.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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