reredos

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reredos

(rēr`dŏs), ornamented wall or screen that rises behind the high altar of a church, forming a background for it. It may be placed against the apse wall at the extreme end or directly behind the altar, as in certain English churches where it serves to separate the choir and the retrochoir. Called dossal, or dorsal in its earliest form, it was a tapestry or a richly embroidered fabric suspended behind the altar. In the 11th and 12th cent. the reredos was generally a screen of gold, silver, or ivory adorned with sculptures in relief. It became a permanent architectural feature in the late Gothic in England and the Renaissance in Spain, where it was seen as a lofty decorative structure filling the entire width of the choir. Relief sculptures of the Passion and figures of angels and saints were enclosed by a rich framework of pilasters and pinnacles. Especially ornate were the marble and alabaster examples in Spain and those of polychromed and gilded wood in the baroque churches of Mexico. The reredos of Italy and Germany were primarily religious paintings within an architectural framework.
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reredos

reredos
An ornamental screen or wall at the back of an altar.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

reredos

a screen or wall decoration at the back of an altar, in the form of a hanging, tapestry, painting, or piece of metalwork or sculpture
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
The article mentions an enigma about the reredos - namely what work of such magnificence is doing tucked away in a small country church.
But more distinctive are the examples of medieval stained glass on each side of the reredos that flank the altar.
The piece de resistance is the baroque altar reredos, embellished with gilded carvings, florid designs, statues of six saints, the main figure of infant Jesus.
In the reredos at the high altar are statues to Dr.
Besides comparing similar items made for other Dutch churches with the specific Haarlem additions such as the Ten Commandments panel in place of the former high altar's reredos painting, she ambitiously places her descriptions of objects and their liturgical uses in an analytical conceptual framework that is intended to carry the study of the artworks beyond mere categories of function or style into a world of deeper psychological, anthropological, and theological insight.
Warhol's astral divas--Marilyn, Liz, and Jackie--likewise memorialized as gridded screens, are transformed in this reredos, Lemieux's parochial confessional.
Only by looking closely do we discover an enormous reredos covered with small faces, a puzzle of triangular shapes fitted perfectly that ascend towards the surface of the deep dark place that we have left behind.
In the balcony area, LED washlights, PAR38 and theatrical PAR fixtures illuminate the bicentennial organ, the stained-glass rose window and the choir, respectively, while in the chancel, track-mounted PAR30 fixtures brighten the altar and chancel choir and PAR38 track heads make the reredos shine.
For decades, reredos altars, statuary, tabernacles, baptismal fonts, stations of the cross, and valuable historic lighting have been walking the tightrope of being insured or not insured.
Their buildings are often not so much churches as cinemas with ecclesiastical trappings or lecture halls with a reredos on the wall when normally there would be blackboard.
The building's civic genome originated in 2002 at Parry's Stirling Prize shortlisted 30 Finsbury Square, whose main facade (an inversion of Le Corbusier's Five Points) suggests a garden trellis, or reredos to the altar of its urban green, and something of the formal and public conviviality of Rafael Moneo's Murcia Town Hall annexe.