The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







For other meanings, see Relief (disambiguation)

In the art of sculpture, a relief is an artwork where a modelled form projects out of a flat background. Tensed musculature itself may be seen to be in relief. Depending on the depth involved, it may be termed a bas relief ("low relief") – as seen in numismatics – or it may be a high relief, with much undercutting, rendered almost in the round against its flat background.

Reliefs are a common type of artwork found throughout the world, particularly to decorate monumental buildings, such as temples. The frieze in the classical Corinthian order is often enriched with bas-reliefs. High reliefs may been seen in the pediments of classical temples, e.g. the Parthenon. Reliefs can be used for a single scene, or ordered into a narrative.

Famous examples of reliefs include:

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Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04