Definition of predella in English:

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Pronunciation: /prɪˈdɛlə/


1A step or platform on which an altar is placed.
Example sentences
  • The raised central platform or predella has the ambo at one end and the altar at the other.
  • Placed against the church's altar below the triptych with its fixed panels of the baptism, Lord's supper, and confession, the predella participates in the change from altar to table and shared meal of minister and people.
  • The gangrene often compelled amputation, and it has been noted in this connection that the two movable halves of the predella [base] of the altarpiece, if slid apart, make it appear as if the legs of Christ have been amputated.
1.1A raised shelf above an altar.
Example sentences
  • The entire piece is supported by a predella on the altar, which raises the retable from the altar table.
1.2A painting or sculpture on this, typically forming an appendage to an altarpiece: [as modifier]: four predella panels by Botticelli
More example sentences
  • Yet, being multipartite, they call to mind the predella panels of early Renaissance altarpieces.
  • The proposal was that Donatello's Ascension, now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, was the intended altarpiece or its predella.
  • Paolo Uccello completed the altarpiece's predella, the Miracle of the Profaned Host, most likely by 1468.


Mid 19th century: from Italian, literally 'stool'.

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For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pre|della

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