It is necessary sometimes to resort to relief for reasons of space in particular. I do not however warm to it as a an Art in its own right. I feel that far from being the best of both worlds it instead lacks more that it gains. Sculpture has the advantage of presence; it exists, where as a painting and to some extent therefore a relief, is only an image. There are however some excellent examples of good relief work which have much to commend them.
(I have not included the negative (concave) relief but will deal with it under another topic one day.)
Here are just a few I found at random from the 19th C ranging from “the almost flat” to the almost 360 degrees.
“Life’s Circle” by Alfred Turner is a bit idealistic so I will have to admit I like it.
The American Augustus Saints-Gaudens did an early experiment with another painter’s portrait Bastien-Lepage.
In silver, “Dancing" by Frampton
Albert Bartholome's “Monument aux Morts” seems to incorporate both worlds!!
Erik has also introduced me to a Master of Relief who has really inspired this post. Pier Pander's work can be found at
Swallows has a good post on relief see here: