wall shrine/reliquary shows shutters that are known as wings. A statue
of the Virgin and Child is in the center. The wings can fold over to
hide the statue from view. The opening and closing of veils and shutters
that enclosed statues and paintings was a common element of ritual worship.
The hiding of art and its revelation at precise moment in liturgy were standard
practices for centuries. See, as an exemplar the three-level unfolding
of the Isenheim
Altarpiece by Matthias Grünewald, 1510-15, now Musée Unterdenlinden,
Colmar, France. The first level, closed, shows the Crucifixion and
Entombment of Christ, the second, the Annunciation and Nativity, and the
third level the statues of saints Anthony with Paul and Jerome, the carving
of Christ at the Last Supper and paintings of Saints Paul and Anthony in
the Desert and the Temptation of St Anthony. (web gallery of art)
back to "worship"