French for high or deep relief. Alto-rilievo in Italian. In a haut relief sculpture, the figures project at least half of their natural circumference from the background.
The technique is ancient and is still used in contemporary art today. Famously the Egyptians, the Greeks and the Romans made great use of haut relief as did the Nabateans of Petra.
Being half exposed as a 3d form is the key to the definition. There are three different types of positive or convex forms of relief. These usually depict figures and are:
Bas-relief, which is only going a bit out from the rest of the stone
Haut-releif where half the depicted figure is visible, and
Ronde Bosse where the full sculptural element is divorced from the plane stone.
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