A diptych is a painting or relief carving made of two parts, which are usually joined by hinges. They are invariably small in size and, if an altarpiece, were used for private devotion.
Diptychs are hinged so that they can be closed like a book to protect the interior paintings. Often they include a depiction of the donor on one panel; he or she is posed offering prayers to an image of the Virgin and Child which appears on the other section.
'The Wilton Diptych' is one the earliest complete works of this type in the Collection.