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A Bas-relief, (French for "low relief", derived from the Italian basso rilievo) or low relief is a sculpture which is not free-standing or in the round, but has a background from which the main elements of the composition project. Bas-relief is very suitable for scenes with many figures and other elements such as a landscape or architectural background. A bas-relief may use any medium or technique of sculpture, but stone carving and metal casting are the traditional ones. If more than 50% of most rounded or cylindrical elements such as heads and legs project from the background, a sculpture is usually considered to be "alto relievo" or "high relief", although the degree of relief within both types may vary across a composition, with prominent features such as faces in higher relief.
The advantage of the natural contour of the figures allows the work to be viewed from many angles without distortion of the figures themselves, but the background depth is only suggested. There is a continuum of the bas-relief technique into the next category, alto-relievo, or high relief.