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Centaur from the pediment of Parthenon

A relief is a sculptured artwork where the form is modeled out from a flat background.

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

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

Several types of relief are commonly used and defined, although, in all cases the images must attach to the background.

Famous reliefs

Famous examples of reliefs include: