Relief sculpture meaning

relief sculpture

Relief sculpture is any work which projects from however which has a place with the wall, or other kind of background surface, on which it is carved. Reliefs are generally arranged by how high the figures projects from the background. Otherwise called relievo, relief sculpture is a mix of the two-dimensional pictorial arts and the three-dimensional sculptural arts. Along these lines a relief, similar to an image, is subject to a background surface and its composition must be extended in a plane so as to be visible. However at the same time a relief likewise has a level of real three-dimensionality, much the same as a proper sculpture.

Reliefs will in general be more common than freestanding sculpture for various reasons. First, a relief sculpture can depict a far more extensive range of subjects than a statue because of its economy of resources. For example, a fight scene, that, if sculpted in the round, would require a huge amount of space and material, can be rendered significantly more effectively in relief. Second, because a relief is joined to its background surface, issues of weight and physical balance don’t arise -contrary to statues and other freestanding sculptures where weight and balance can be basic. Third, since reliefs are carved directly onto walls, portals, roofs, floors and other flat surfaces, they are in a perfect world suited to architectural projects – commonly the best source of sculptural commissions – for which they can give both decorative and narrative functions.

Types of relief sculpture

There are three basic types of relief sculpture

  • low relief
  • high relief
  • sunken relief

Low relief

(basso-relievo, or bas-relief), where the sculpture projects only slightly from the background surface;

High relief

(alto-relievo, or alto-alleviation), where the sculpture projects at least half or more of its natural circumference from the background, and may in parts be entirely separated starting from the ground, approximating sculpture in the round. [Sculptors may likewise utilize middle-relief (mezzo-relievo), a style which falls roughly between the high and low forms]

Sunken relief

(chiseled, coelanaglyphic or intaglio relief), where the carving is sunk underneath the level of the surrounding surface and is contained inside a sharpely incised contour line that frames it with an amazing line of shadow. The surrounding surface stays untouched, without any projections. Sunken relief carving is found almost exclusively in ancient Egyptian art, in spite of the fact that it has also been utilized in some lovely small-scale ivory reliefs from India.

Reliefs may be abstract in style as well as representational or figurative. Abstract reliefs, both geometric and curvilinear, have been found in many different cultures, including those of Ancient Greece, the Celts, Mexico, the Vikings, and Islam. Representational and figurative relief sculpture is strongly associated with the Greeks, the Romans, Romanesque and Gothic architecture, and European sculpture from the Renaissance onwards.

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