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This triptych is part of the founding collection given to the University of Oxford by General Pitt-Rivers in 1884. It is not known where, when and through whom he obtained it, but it seems to be connected to the Byzantine church. A triptych consists of a central panel with two hinged side-panels. From the Middle Ages onwards this was the most common style for altar paintings. Often the outside of the hinged panels was painted, so the triptych showed a different picture when it was closed. This triptych could be seen as a pocket version of an altar painting, and possibly served the same purpose. A traveller could use it for prayer and devotion while travelling far away from any church.

The Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford





oil on metal


H 4 x W 3.5 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

gift, before 1884

Work type



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The Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford

South Parks Road, Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3PP England

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