- Glossary definition: Diptych

A diptych refers to a painting, engraving, drawing or relief that is composed of two distinct parts, as compared to a polyptych, which has two or more parts. Some examples of Flemish diptychs are still in existence; they were done in the fifteenth century and show a portrait of the owner on one side and the Madonna and Child on the other side. They were used in private homes for devotion and as memorials to an owner who had died.