A relief sculpture is a sculpture which either emerges from a base or wall, or sinks into it. There are three main
types of relief sculptures: alto, bas, or sunken.
|A relief sculpture is a sculpture that is partially carved into or out of another surface. These sculptures rely on a base or plane to support them and are a combination of both three dimensional and two dimensional art forms. This type of sculpture was very popular along the walls and stone columns of the ancient Greek and Roman buildings and can still be seen today on many of famous buildings, including the Coliseum. Relief sculpture is practiced today by artists and architects.
Relief sculptures were done with stone, marble, bronze and many other substances.
There are three main types of relief sculptures:
|A photo of a "grotesque" bas relief
on the Parliament building in Ottawa
Canada. This image is not the property
- alto (high)
- bas (low)
- and sunken.
form is almost completely carved from its surface.
It is highly shaped, with very little of the structure touching the base or plane.
In fact, it could possibly stand alone if the base or plane were removed.
Egyptians commonly uses alto-relief sculptures of gods or Pharaohs attached to their temples.
Alto reliefs were also common among Greeks and Romans.
form is a relief that barely extends past the base.
These are common as wall decorations on Greek or Roman buildings and are the type mostly seen on the Coliseum.
-relief sculpture is an image that is carved into the surface, rather than out of it.
| Everyday Uses:
Think of the coins that you spend every day.
Regardless of which country you are from, you will often see the face of a ruler or important figure coming out of an otherwise flat coin.
These are imitations of bas-relief sculptures.
Ancient Greeks and Romans both used this concept in their own monetary uses.
Even Alexander the Great had his faced carved as a relief in the coins used in all of the territories and countries that he conquered.
| Create Your Own:
||To create your own relief sculptures, it is recommended to start with clay, such as Sculpture House Boneware Moist Clay. Though other materials can be used, clay is the easiest and most forgiving.
Some type of scrapping tool will be needed. If you do not have the correct pottery tools, plastic utensils and toothpicks will suffice. Start with a large clump of clay, and carve out the initial shape. Once you have that created, carve away the excess clay, leaving only the base or plane necessary to support the structure.