The difference between a bas-relief and a high-relief.

The relief in sculpture has several varieties. Among them are the bas-relief and the high-relief. Their common feature is the presence of fragments protruding above the background surface. But there is also the difference between a bas-relief and a high-relief. Let's take a closer look at each type of such an image and find out the difference between them.



Bas-relief as a type of sculptural creativity is created from stone, wood, plastic clay. Applying sculpting or carving, craftsmen transform the material in such a way that a voluminous plot is obtained.

People tried to master this kind of art in the Stone Age. The working surface was then mighty rocks. Turning to the culture of the Ancient World, we can also notice how important the bas-reliefs occupied there. They, for example, decorated the pediments of temples, which was evidence of the greatness of such structures.

The art of bas-relief did not cease to exist in the Middle Ages, as evidenced by the surviving samples. And in our time, when any handicraft is highly valued, there are craftsmen who are capable of turning an ordinary surface, be it a monument's pedestal or part of a building's facade, into an exquisite work of art.


High relief

To create high relief you need the same materials and techniques as for the bas-relief. Its first samples also appeared a very long time ago - in ancient art. In ancient Rome, volumetric molding and carving were often used to decorate triumphal arches. And in modern times, you can find a duplication of this use of high relief - magnificent plots appear before us when we look at the Arc de Triomphe (Paris).

High relief


And now let's move on to the main thing and reveal the difference between the bas-relief and the high relief. It can be judged by the second names of these types of sculptural images - low relief (bas-relief) and, accordingly, high relief (high relief).

Their main distinguishing criterion is the ratio of the working background and the volume of the displayed elements. If we imagine the full volume of the figures, then in the bas-relief it protrudes above the background by a maximum of half, and often even less. The high relief is more convex - the viewer can see a significant (more than half) part of the elements' own volume. And some figures can even exist on their own, completely separated from the background. This is considered almost the only, but defining difference.

So, we found out what is the difference between a bas-relief and a high-relief. Otherwise, these types of images are very similar.