A shelf or panel of wood, stone, terra-cotta, or silver, raised above the rear of an altar to support lights, ornaments, etc. It is often richly ornamented and depicts sacred scenes in painting or bas-relief. The face of the piece is usually called the retable, the back known as the counter-retable.

MLA Citation

  • “retable”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 19 December 2010. Web. 22 January 2019. <>