Centaur from the pediment of Parthenon

Relief is a way of making sculptures or carvings. You start with a flat stone or wooden base, and take small parts away until you have made the art you want.

Reliefs are found around the world. They can be used to decorate buildings, such as temples. Usually the artist makes reliefs of figures, such as people or animals.

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

In bas-relief, only a bit of the base is taken away. The figure is quite flat and this is especially common in friezes. An alto-relief is where the artist takes away a lot of the base material. This can be very detailed.

Famous reliefs

Famous reliefs include: