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Reliefs are a common type of artwork found around the world, to decorate important 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.
Types of relief
Several types of relief are commonly used and defined, although, in all cases the images must attach to the background.
Famous examples of reliefs include:
- Great Altar of Pergamon, now at the Pergamon Museum, Berlin
- Lions and dragons from the Ishtar Gate, Babylon
- Temple of Karnak in Egypt
- Angkor Wat in Cambodia
- Lion Capital of Asoka, the national symbol of India
- glyphs and artwork of the Maya civilization
- The monument to the Confederacy at Stone Mountain, Georgia
- Borobudur temple, Java, Indonesia
- The Elgin Marbles from the Parthenon now housed at the British Museum.
- The representation of Monticello on a US nickel.
Angels from Clonfert Cathedral, Co Galway, Ireland (adjusted to highlight relief)