When a painting consists of two panels, it can be considered a diptych. The term comes from the late Greek words diptukha (two writing tablets) or diptukhos (folded in half). The tradition of diptychs traces back centuries and spans most visual cultures. Multiple panels were frequently used by painters to tell religious or historical narratives in their works. Abstract artists utilize the method for a variety of reasons, including symbolically, or as a way to highlight formal aesthetic concerns. Sometimes a diptych is connected by hinges or folds; other times it consists of two panels hung next to each other but not formally connected. When a painting consists of three panels, it can be called a triptych. When it consists of more than three panels, it can be called a polyptych.