Relief sculpture in soap in geography class / photo Ivy Assiter
Originally uploaded by trudeau.
A relief is a sculptured artwork where a modeled form projects out from a flat background, says Wikipedia.
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-relief (low relief). Alto-relievo (high-relief) 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. They can be very detailed to the extent that even tensed musculature itself may be seen.
- Bas-relief (pronounced "bah"), or low relief, with the background compressed for depth; as seen for example in numismatics. Although unusual, Bas-relief may show faces and even bodies in natural relief.
- High relief, where the image is highly undercut and rendered almost in the round against its flat background. In alto-relief the figures are usually near natural depth and the background is more detailed and deeper.
- Sunken-relief, also known as intaglio or hollow-relief, where the image is carved into the stone, creating in effect a negative, in contrast to other types of relief work where the surrounding stone is carved away to leave the image.