from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Low relief; in sculpture, a form of relief in which the figures or other objects represented project very slightly from the ground.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Low relief; sculpture, the figures of which project less than half of their true proportions; -- called also bass-relief and basso-rilievo. See alto-rilievo.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Alternative spelling of bas relief.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a sculptural relief in which forms extend only slightly from the background; no figures are undercut


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[French, from Italian bassorilievo : basso, low (from Medieval Latin bassus) + rilievo, relief (from rilevare, to raise, from Latin relevāre; see relieve).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Borrowing from French bas-relief.


  • To complete the illusion in the eyes of the drunken man, the planks are topped with wooden Ionic capitals, nailed on, and in, I may say, bas-relief.

    The House Beautiful

  • One learns that sculpture went from the three-dimensional to a kind of bas-relief because Christian doctrine disdained natural representation.

    Transformational Objects

  • The Ionic order is more elegant and matronly – think Boticelli's Venus – with often unfluted columns, scrolled capitals, friezes that are sometimes adorned with elaborately sculpted bas-relief and dentils – a row of small blocks – below the cornices.

    Renaissance architecture: how to identify the Roman orders

  • I mean look at the detail of the bas-relief that is carved into a column.


  • Arp's painted-wood bas-relief "La Femme-amphore" (1929), in which a small figurative form, like a kernel, floats through the womb-like bowl of an amphora, speaks to Brancusi's curled-up ovoid "The Newborn (Version I)" (1920).

    The Shape of Things

  • This clears the way for that giant bas-relief of a horned goat head inscribed in an inverted pentagon that I always wanted to see overlooking the Grand Canyon.

    High Court rules on cross in Mojave

  • While visiting a museum in Mosul, he finds nine papyrus scrolls tucked in the belly of a bas-relief sculpture: they have been perfectly preserved for more than two thousand years.

    The Fire Gospel (Myths, The) by Michel Faber: Book summary

  • "Pape Moe Mysterious Water," an oak bas-relief, carved by Gauguin in 1894, has not been seen by the American public since the 1920s.

    A sampler of rarely seen Gauguins

  • Another piece, "Musique Barbare (Barbaric Music)," an 1893 work in pencil, ink and watercolor, has never been publicly displayed in the United States, while "Pape Moe (Mysterious Water)," an oak bas-relief carved by Gauguin in 1894, has not been seen by the American public since the 1920s.

    'Gauguin: Maker of Myth' at National Gallery showcases late-19th-century artwork

  • The way that the windows are perfectly placed, or the archways that are positioned down the bas-relief corridors frame and crop the most interesting symmetrical shots from your very own visual space in your head creates this very clean, simple lucid feeling as you walk through.



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