Relief (Technique, Concept)

Canonical URI:


Preferred Label
Relief (en)


Relief is a decorative technique applied in both Athenian black-figure (see Black-figure) and red-figure (see Red-figure) vase-painting in which clay is added to the surface of the vase. Relief can be used to show details of hair in the form of black glaze dots, or for jewelry, objects, and animal or human figures. For larger figures, the relief decoration is produced by pressing soft clay into a mold, similar to plastic vases (see Plastic), and then affixed to the still-moist surface using a slip. Examples of relief decoration also include applique heads on handle junctions and full figural scenes. Sometimes the relief may be accentuated with added colors such as white and gold (see Added Color).

Data Provenance