Reredos (retables, retabels) appeared about the 13th century. They were first made of stone, then of wood, which was the material employed during the 14th to the 16th centuries, the period when reredos of exquisite craftsmanship were made.
   Constituting a veritable three-dimensional painting, reredos generally depicted liturgical themes, most especially scenes from the life and death of Jesus Christ, Mary, and the saints. In Brussels, the production of reredos was strongly influenced by the work of the Master of Hakendoven and Rogier van der Weyden. From the second half of the 15th century, a distinctive style emerged, one characterized by sumptuously draped figures whose features displayed a pronounced pathos. From 1490 to 1530 the Borreman family developed a unique style reflective of the above characteristics.
   Reredos entailed the work of carpenters, sculptors, gilders, and painters in their production, and each guild noted its contribution with a distinctive mark on the finished work. In Brussels, these included an open compass enclosing a plane for the carpenters, a mallet for the sculptors, and the word "Bruesel" for the gilders and painters.

Historical Dictionary of Brussels. .

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  • Reredos — Rere dos (r?r d?s), n. [From rear + F. dos back, L. dorsum. Cf. {Dorsal}.] (Arch.) (a) A screen or partition wall behind an altar. (b) The back of a fireplace. (c) The open hearth, upon which fires were lighted, immediately under the louver, in… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • reredos — late 14c., from Anglo Fr. rere , archaic comb. form of REAR (Cf. rear), + dos back (see DOSSIER (Cf. dossier)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • reredos — rèredos m DEFINICIJA crkv. umj. arhitektonski ili umjetnički ukras uza zid iza oltara (slike ili simboli na zidu, drvene ploče sa slikama) ETIMOLOGIJA fr …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • reredos — ► NOUN (pl. same) ▪ an ornamental screen at the back of an altar in a church. ORIGIN Old French areredos, from arere behind + dos back …   English terms dictionary

  • reredos — [rir′däs΄] n. [ME rerdos, aphetic < Anglo Fr areredos < OFr arere (see ARREARS) + dos, back (see DOSSER1)] an ornamental screen or partition wall behind an altar in a church …   English World dictionary

  • Reredos — There are two common meanings of the word reredos . In general architecture, the word can mean the back of an open hearth of a fireplace or a screen placed behind a table. In more common religious usage, a reredos (also spelled raredos) is a… …   Wikipedia

  • reredos — noun Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo French reredors, areredos, from arere behind + dos back, from Latin dorsum more at arrear Date: 14th century a usually ornamental wood or stone screen or partition wall behind an altar …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • reredos — /rear dos, rear i , rair i /, n. 1. a screen or a decorated part of the wall behind an altar in a church. 2. the back of a fireplace or of a medieval open hearth. [1325 75; ME, alter. of AF areredos, equiv. to MF arere behind (see ARREAR) + dos… …   Universalium

  • reredos — noun /ˈɹiɹ.dɒs/ a screen or decoration behind the altar in a church, usually depicting religious iconography or images …   Wiktionary

  • REREDOS —    the name given to the decorated portion of the wall or screen behind and rising above a church altar; as a rule it is richly ornamented with niches and figures, and stands out from the east wall of the church, but not unfrequently it is joined …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

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