Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A rich fabric of silk and gold brocade.
  • n. A canopy of fabric carried in church processions or placed over an altar, throne, or dais.
  • n. Architecture A stone or marble structure built in the form of a canopy, especially over the altar of a church.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Alternative spelling of baldacchin.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A rich brocade; baudekin.
  • n. A structure in form of a canopy, sometimes supported by columns, and sometimes suspended from the roof or projecting from the wall; generally placed over an altar.
  • n. A portable canopy borne over shrines, etc., in procession.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Same as baudekin.
  • n. A canopy of various kinds.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. ornamented canopy supported by columns or suspended from a roof or projected from a wall (as over an altar)

Etymologies

Italian baldacchino, from Old Italian, from Baldacco, Baghdad.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Under a baldachin is a litter, on which swings to and fro a dusky Madonna dressed after the fashion of the native goddesses, with a ring in her nose.

    From the Caves and Jungles of Hindostan

  • To the right (here we have already seen the statues on the left on the first picture of the altar to the right) on the baldachin St. Pantaleon (look with his hands nailed to his head) and on the volute St. Christopher.

    Catholic Bamberg: Vierzehnheiligen

  • Sitting to His side on the baldachin are St. Margaret to the left (see her attribute, the dragon, in German Wurm) and St. George to the right.

    Catholic Bamberg: Vierzehnheiligen

  • Behind the grille (before which, as you can see, a lot of candles are placed by the faithful), underneath the altar of grace which serves as a baldachin for it, and at the very centre of the Basilica is the original spot of the apparition, with the earth visible below the floor level.

    Catholic Bamberg: Vierzehnheiligen

  • To the left (the statues on the right we have already seen on the previous picture to the left) on the baldachin St. Vitus (look sharply for his rooster) and on the volute St. Achatius (with Cross and crown of thorns).

    Catholic Bamberg: Vierzehnheiligen

  • It also shows how a freestanding altar and baldachin may be used within the context of ad orientem liturgy, as well as being a further commentary on truly noble simplicity in architecture and church paraments.

    Reverse Iconoclasm in One Hour or Less

  • Additional options include erecting a sizable ornamental canopy or baldachin over the tabernacle, or setting the tabernacle within the apsidal wall or against the backdrop of a decorated reredos.

    Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend: "Concerning the Central Placement and Noble Design of Tabernacles..."

  • Here, in its incongruous dark wood baldachin, hangs the Lutine Bell, historically rung when a ship went missing.

    7: The Lloyd's building, London, built 1978-1986

  • Column and pilaster shafts are beige botticino marble while capitals and entablatures are painted plaster.schafphoto. com Like the shrine, the focus is again on a baldachin - here, with swirling bronze Solomonic columns and an exuberant superstructure inspired by Bernini's baldachin at St. Peter's.

    Holy Architecture

  • (The baldachin also serves to frame a replica, in the apse, of a cherished mosaic of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Mexico.)

    A Return to Grace

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "...honourable established people who wanted a gleaming properly laid table and good food well served and some delicious creature or other to have dinner with on a fine early-summer evening as the lights came on in the baldachin of dusk and the nightfall murmur of traffic died slowly away uptown along the Avenue..."

    - W.M. Spackman, An Armful of Warm Girl

    December 22, 2011

  • "The room measured perhaps thirty feet in each dimension, and was furnished with a lavishness exceeded only by the sitting room downstairs. The canopied bed stood on a small dais, with baldachins of ostrich feathers sprouting from the corners of its damask drapes, and a pair of matching brocaded chairs squatted comfortably before a huge fireplace."
    —Diana Gabaldon, Dragonfly in Amber (NY: Delacorte Press, 1991), 831

    January 3, 2010