The Wilton Diptych Print - Front
The 'Wilton Diptych' was painted as a portable altarpiece for the private devotion of King Richard II, who ruled England from 1377 to 1399. The diptych is thought to have been made in the last five years of Richard's reign, although its artist remains unknown. It is called The Wilton Diptych because it came from Wilton House in Wiltshire, the seat of the Earls of Pembroke.
A diptych is a painting, carving or piece of metalwork on two panels, usually hinged like a book. The panels of the Wilton Diptych are made of North European oak, but have been transformed by immaculate painting and gilding, into a heavenly vision. On the inside, Richard II is presented by three saints to the Virgin and Child and a company of eleven angels.
Nearest to Richard is his patron saint John the Baptist. Behind are Saint Edward the Confessor and Saint Edmund, earlier English kings who came to be venerated as saints. The outside bears Richard's arms and his personal emblem of a white hart chained with a crown around its neck.
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