Illustrated Dictionary of British Churches - Reredos Definition

History and Architecture

Reredos

A decorative screen above and behind the high altar. The reredos was structurally separate from the altar (as compared to retables, a similar paneled, decorative screen attached to the altar back).  The reredos often covered the wall, and might be extravagantly decorated with statue niches, painted panels, and highly carved stone or wood pinnacles. The faint flowering of Baroque style in Britain produced even more elaborately decorated reredos screens, though this was much moe common on the European continent.

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