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Triptych

A triptych (Greek adjective "triptukhon" meaning "three-fold") is a work of art that is divided into three sections. These sections are hinged together and can be folded shut or displayed open. It is a very popular art form and has been used by artists for centuries, and it is present in a variety of mediums including painting, photography and drawing. The triptych typically serves to tell a story. Alternatively, “diptychs" are objects with two flat plates attached at a hinge, and “polyptychs" are divided into many sections or panels.


Traditionally in the Middle Ages, a triptych would consist of a large panel and two smaller panels painted inside the doors. Symbolically the number 3 would recall the Holy Trinity, and artists would use the 3 panels to depict the beginning, the middle and the end of a story (and life).


Nevertheless, the way artists use the triptych format can change dramatically from one work to another. The assembled panels can form either a single scene or three separate ones. However, there usually remains a clear relationship between all three panels of the triptych. The triptych is used to tell a story and explore the main theme of the three panels. It allows the artist to show the development and progression of their subject. Additionally, the fact that the work is divided into three allows the viewer to adopt multiple perspectives.


When it comes to practicality, the triptych facilitates the transportation, storage and displaying of works. This means they can be easily shared between museums worldwide, and the fascinating nature of this art form can be admired across the globe.


Although traditionally used in religious art, there are triptychs in both classical and modern art.


Twentieth century artist, Francis Bacon, became famous for his triptych works, claiming: "Triptychs are the thing I like doing most, and I think this may be related to the thought I've sometimes had of making a film. I like the juxtaposition of the images separated on three different canvases. So far as my work has any quality, I often feel perhaps it is the triptychs have the most quality." Bacon's first and extremely scandalous triptych, “Three Studies for a Crucifixion" was completed in 1962. On the right panel, there is a sordid scene of crucifixion, similar to that of Christ. Meanwhile the left panel depicts a graphic slaughter, where two men stand by a mangled and butchered corpse on a table. This would set in motion many more triptychs to be created by Bacon, including that of his lover, George Dyer in 1963.

In 1969, Bacon painted his friend and rival, Lucian Freud, in “Three Studies of Lucian Freud".  It was sold in November 2013 for $142.4 million, which at the time was the highest price attained at an auction for a work of art when not considering inflation.


So why have one contemporary work when you can three! Artsper invites you to discover the world of triptychs through famous and emerging artists like, Emmanuelle Vroelant, Agnes Bouche and Leah Angelo.

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Benjamin Capdevielle, Mister Duck, Painting

Benjamin Capdevielle

Mister Duck, 2009
39.4 x 78.7 x 2.4 inch
Painting

$4,366

Fiona Weedon, Reverie, Painting

Fiona Weedon

Reverie, 2014
36.6 x 86.6 x 0.8 inch
Painting

$6,779

Emmanuelle Vroelant, Feu, Painting

Emmanuelle Vroelant

Feu, 2015
27.6 x 59.1 x 1.2 inch
Painting

$4,102

Vincent Osemwegie, Mandela the son, father, and grandpa (Triptyque), Painting

Vincent Osemwegie

Mandela the son, father, and grandpa (Triptyque), 2014
72.8 x 81.5 inch
Painting

$9,192

Emmanuelle Vroelant, Entre deux mondes, Drawing

Emmanuelle Vroelant

Entre deux mondes, 2015
39.4 x 82.7 x 2 inch
Drawing

$14,363

Agnes Roché, Triptyque 'Black Sun', Painting

Agnes Roché

Triptyque 'Black Sun', 2012
37.4 x 65 x 2 inch
Painting

$6,320

Karel de Gendre, Amour donne des ailes, Painting

Karel de Gendre

Amour donne des ailes, 2012
18.1 x 44.9 x 2 inch
Painting

$1,551

Antoine Néron-Bancel, Le soulier du monde, Painting

Antoine Néron-Bancel

Le soulier du monde, 2014
39.4 x 78.7 x 1.2 inch
Painting

$5,630

Elia Kleiber, Les Athlètes - Situation N°1, Painting

Elia Kleiber

Les Athlètes - Situation N°1, 2014
44.9 x 96.5 x 2 inch
Painting

$6,894

Leah Angelo, Angel by the sea, Painting

Leah Angelo

Angel by the sea, 2016
70.9 x 90.6 inch
Painting

$17,235

Judith Berry, Off Target (triptyque), Painting

Judith Berry

Off Target (triptyque), 2016
40.2 x 140.2 x 1.2 inch
Painting

$11,000

Didier Luciak, Triptyque Mustang Fast-Back 1967, Photography

Didier Luciak

Triptyque Mustang Fast-Back 1967, 2017
35.4 x 70.9 x 0.4 inch
Photography

$2,183

Sylviane Pelletier, Sans titre, Painting

Sylviane Pelletier

Sans titre, 2014
47.2 x 55.1 x 0.8 inch
Painting

$3,447

Hédy Gobaa, Lys 01, Painting

Hédy Gobaa

Lys 01, 2017
59.8 x 120.5 x 0.8 inch
Painting

$7,500

Don Mateo, Untitled, Painting

Don Mateo

Untitled, 2017
31.5 x 24.4 x 2 inch
Painting

$1,034

Natasha Lacroix, State of mind, Print

Natasha Lacroix

State of mind, 2014
38.6 x 66.9 inch
Print

$4,481

Pascal Catry, Palmes, Sculpture

Pascal Catry

Palmes, 2014
35.4 x 19.7 x 1.2 inch
Sculpture

$781

Rossella Rossi, La memoria del bianco, Painting

Rossella Rossi

La memoria del bianco, 2014
19.7 x 78.7 inch
Painting

$4,826

Christine Nobel, Emerging, Painting

Christine Nobel

Emerging, 2017
24 x 59.8 inch
Painting

$1,724

Noureddine Daifallah, Sans titre, Painting

Noureddine Daifallah

Sans titre, 2013
19.7 x 59.1 x 2 inch
Painting

$4,022

Olivier Messas, Voilier à l'horizon, Painting

Olivier Messas

Voilier à l'horizon, 2017
59.1 x 59.1 x 0.8 inch
Painting

$2,873

Marie Montagnat, Triptyque - Au piano !, Painting

Marie Montagnat

Triptyque - Au piano !, 2016
39.4 x 47.2 x 1.6 inch
Painting

$1,609

Benjamin Capdevielle, Driver 20h12, Painting

Benjamin Capdevielle

Driver 20h12, 2009
39.4 x 78.7 x 2.4 inch
Painting

$4,826

Jiao Jia Ou Yang, Fleurs sur fond jaune, Painting

Jiao Jia Ou Yang

Fleurs sur fond jaune, 2005
39.4 x 78.7 inch
Painting

$10,571

Jiao Jia Ou Yang, Envolée rouge, Painting

Jiao Jia Ou Yang

Envolée rouge, 2002
39.4 x 78.7 inch
Painting

$10,571

Our recommendations Jean-Jacques Bugat, Andy Warhol Dorléac & Deneuve, Photography

Jean-Jacques Bugat

Andy Warhol Dorléac & Deneuve, 1966
31.5 x 63 x 0.8 inch
Photography

$2,298

Bernhard Lang, AV_Versilia_002, Photography

Bernhard Lang

AV_Versilia_002, 2017
31.5 x 75.6 x 0.2 inch
Photography

$4,366

Christoff Baron, Scène de jeu 5, Painting

Christoff Baron

Scène de jeu 5, 2017
47.2 x 17.7 x 1.2 inch
Painting

$1,896

Virginie Mézan de Malartic, Une image vaut mille mots, Painting

Virginie Mézan de Malartic

Une image vaut mille mots, 2017
38.2 x 57.5 x 1.6 inch
Painting

$4,711

Our recommendations Robert Longo, Untitled (Men in the Cities), Photography

Robert Longo

Untitled (Men in the Cities), 1979
20 x 54.3 inch
Photography

$25,968

Christoff Baron, Scène de jeu 2, Painting

Christoff Baron

Scène de jeu 2, 2017
47.2 x 17.7 x 1.2 inch
Painting

$1,896

Pierre Muckensturm, 17.2, Print

Pierre Muckensturm

17.2, 2017
29.9 x 66.1 inch
Print

$2,126

Christèle Lefay, Suite, Painting

Christèle Lefay

Suite, 2018
21.7 x 68.1 x 0.8 inch
Painting

$2,068

Christèle Lefay, Poursuite, Painting

Christèle Lefay

Poursuite, 2008
47.2 x 94.5 x 1.2 inch
Painting

$5,745

Christèle Lefay, La baie, Painting

Christèle Lefay

La baie, 2008
25.6 x 64.2 x 1.2 inch
Painting

$2,068

Françoise Danel, Les tablettes, Painting

Françoise Danel

Les tablettes, 2012
47.2 x 47.2 x 1.6 inch
Painting

$5,056

Diana Malivani, Waltz of Flowers. Triptych, Painting

Diana Malivani

Waltz of Flowers. Triptych, 2018
35.4 x 35.4 x 0.8 inch
Painting

$2,987

Philippine Boulay, Dream In Forest, Painting

Philippine Boulay

Dream In Forest, 2014
23.6 x 70.9 x 1.6 inch
Painting

$1,838

Anton F., Lignes AF1680 série 1 composition triptyque #, Photography

Anton F.

Lignes AF1680 série 1 composition triptyque #, 2013
11.8 x 39.4 x 1.2 inch
Photography

$2,528

Renato D'Agostin, Orderville, Utah - Triptych, Photography

Renato D'Agostin

Orderville, Utah - Triptych, 2017
39.4 x 79.1 x 1.6 inch
Photography

$26,370

Gérard Ricard, La danseuse écartelée (Mémoire de Toulouse Lautrec), Painting

Gérard Ricard

La danseuse écartelée (Mémoire de Toulouse Lautrec), 2008
19.7 x 59.1 x 1.2 inch
Painting

$2,528

Elia Kleiber, Les Étrangers 1,2,3, Painting

Elia Kleiber

Les Étrangers 1,2,3, 2012
51.2 x 69.7 x 2 inch
Painting

$6,894

Tov, Sans titre Triptyque, Painting

Tov

Sans titre Triptyque, 2017
47.2 x 47.2 x 1.6 inch
Painting

$2,170

Natasha Lacroix, Monument II, Print

Natasha Lacroix

Monument II, 2014
43.3 x 65 inch
Print

$4,481

Natasha Lacroix, State of mind II, Print

Natasha Lacroix

State of mind II, 2014
38.6 x 66.9 inch
Print

$4,481

Asgeir Andersen, Univers vers tryptique, Painting

Asgeir Andersen

Univers vers tryptique, 2016
29.5 x 129.9 x 1.2 inch
Painting

$2,873

Our recommendations Natasha Lacroix, Monument, Print

Natasha Lacroix

Monument, 2014
39.4 x 78.7 inch
Print

$4,481

Christine Nobel, Mist II, Painting

Christine Nobel

Mist II, 2017
35.8 x 72 inch
Painting

$2,068

Sylvie Guyomard, Faille VIII, Sculpture

Sylvie Guyomard

Faille VIII, 2017
39.4 x 53.1 x 1.2 inch
Sculpture

Sold out

Âme Sauvage, Aras multicolores, Painting

Âme Sauvage

Aras multicolores, 2019
15.7 x 35.4 x 0.8 inch
Painting

Sold out

Gina Vor, Summer Vibes Triptych No. 1, Painting

Gina Vor

Summer Vibes Triptych No. 1, 2018
29.5 x 9.8 x 0.2 inch
Painting

Sold out

Pierre Muckensturm, 13.6, Print

Pierre Muckensturm

13.6, 2013
25.6 x 59.1 inch
Print

Sold out

Agnès Bouche, Unis Vers, Painting

Agnès Bouche

Unis Vers, 2016
70.9 x 66.9 x 2 inch
Painting

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Bruno Dire, Barge ass, Painting

Bruno Dire

Barge ass, 2017
25.6 x 33.5 x 0.4 inch
Painting

Sold out

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