Polyptych or polyptic Poly means many. So if you are already familiar with the fact that a diptych is a piece of art spanning over to panels, and a triptych art on three related panels, then a polyptych or polyptych is art on more wooden panels or canvasses. Altarpieces are good examples with more than three panels or sections, often hinged. A four-paneled one is a quadriptych. Polyptychs have been with us for a very long time and dates back to before Byzantine art.