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Italian Renaissance Learning Resources

In collaboration with the National Gallery of Art


Term used for a horizontal band, cut from a single plank, below the main panels of an altarpiece. The appearance of the predella can be seen as part of the development of the altarpiece from a single panel to a large, multi-storey Polyptych. The small figures or scenes painted on the predella formed part of the integrated programme of the altarpiece, providing a visual commentary on the major images above and at the same time raising the main panels, and thus improving their visibility.

Ronald Baxter