Relief FAQs:


Q: Is relief a sculptural technique where the sculpted elements remain attached to a solid background of the same material?

A: Yes.

Q: Are reliefs used to narrate sacred scriptures?

A: Yes, such as the 1,460 panels of the 9th-century Borobudur temple in Central Java, Indonesia, narrating the Jataka tales or lives of the Buddha.

Q: Are reliefs those carved into solid rock in the open air?

A: Yes, This type is found in many cultures, in particular those of the Ancient Near East and Buddhist countries.

Q: Were reliefs cut with a drill rather than chisels, enabling and encouraging compositions extremely crowded with figures, like the Ludovisi Battle sarcophagus?

A: Yes, These are also seen in the enormous strips of reliefs that wound round Roman triumphal columns.

Q: Are reliefs for convenient reference assumed in this article to be usually figures?

A: Yes, but sculpture in relief often depicts decorative geometrical or foliage patterns, as in the arabesques of Islamic art, and may be of any subject.

Q: Are reliefs common throughout the world on the walls of buildings and a variety of smaller settings?

A: Yes, and a sequence of several panels or sections of relief may represent an extended narrative.

Q: Are reliefs made by casting?

A: Yes.

Q: Is relief from the Latin verb relevo?

A: Yes, and to raise.

Q: Was relief relatively rare in Western medieval art?

A: Yes, but may be found, for example in wooden figures or scenes on the insides of the folding wings of multi-panel altarpieces.

Q: Are reliefs often found in decorative arts such as ceramics and metalwork?

A: Yes, these are less often described as "reliefs" than as "in relief". Small bronze reliefs are often in the form of "plaques" or plaquettes, which may be set in furniture or framed, or just kept as they are, a popular form for European collectors, especially in the Renaissance.

Q: Is relief cut in from a flat surface of stone or wood is a lowering of the field?

A: Yes, and leaving the unsculpted parts seemingly raised.

Q: Is relief somewhat subjective?

A: Yes, and the two are very often combined in a single work.

Q: Is relief to give the impression that the sculpted material has been raised above the background plane?

A: Yes.

Q: Is relief probably the most common type of relief found in the Hindu and Buddhist art art of India and Southeast Asia?

A: Yes.

Q: Is relief largely restricted to the art of Ancient Egypt where it is very common?

A: Yes, and becoming after the Amarna period of Ahkenaten the dominant type used, as opposed to low relief.

Q: Is relief more suitable for depicting complicated subjects with many figures and very active poses, such as battles, than free-standing "sculpture in the round"?

A: Yes, Most ancient architectural reliefs were originally painted, which helped to define forms in low relief.

Q: Is relief the clearest and most important?

A: Yes, and these two are generally the only terms used to discuss most work.

Q: Was relief commonly used for the whole composition?

A: Yes.

Q: Were reliefs typically not as high as in Ancient Greece?

A: Yes.

Q: Was relief used mostly for smaller works or combined with higher relief to convey a sense of distance?

A: Yes, or to give depth to the composition, especially for scenes with many figures and a landscape or architectural background, in the same way that lighter colours are used for the same purpose in painting.