Squashed Relief / Shallow Relief

Shallow-Relief, also known in its Italian form as Rilievo Schiacciato, this type of relief is often used for the background areas of compositions and it would often be blended with Low-Relief which would form the main elements of the composition. Shallow-Relief was developed by the Italian Renaissance sculptor Donatello, which forms part of his major contribution to the development of sculpture during the high Renaissance. (Read more after Break)

Shallow-Relief, it can be argued was a major innovation in sculptural relief during the 16th century. The first ever use of the technique of Rilievo Schiacciato was employed in the niche of the statue of Saint George - Tabernacle. The sculpture of Saint George was made for the guildhall of Orsanmichele (dating to approximately: 1417; Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence), the relief is visible beneath the statue near its base/pedestal. The effect of his relief sculpture was achieved through barely incised lines creating a sense of atmospheric space receding into the distance; on a surface which was for all intents and purposes virtually flat. As is evident from the relief sculpture at the foot of Saint George, what Donatello managed to succeed in doing was transferring painterly conventions to low sculptural relief, to dramatic effect and with a lasting impact. As one of the first examples of central point perspective in a sculpture.
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Squashed Relief is very closely related to Low-Relief, which is otherwise known as Basso-Relievo.
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