sculpture created with relief technique

Relief is a type of sculpture or carving. The worker creating the piece starts with a flat base, usually stone or wood, and takes small parts of the surface away until the desired image has been made.

Centaur from the pediment of Parthenon

Reliefs are found around the world. They can be used to decorate buildings, such as temples. Usually the artist makes reliefs of figures, such as people or animals.

Roman Hetaera, Relief, around 2nd century, Head is missing

In bas-relief, only a bit of the base is taken away. The figure is quite flat and this is especially common in friezes. An alto-relief is where the artist takes away a lot of the base material. This can be very detailed.

Famous reliefs change

Famous reliefs include:

Gallery change