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Alto-Rilievo

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ALTO-RILIEVO (Ital. for "high relief"), the term applied to sculpture that projects from the plane to which it is attached to the extent of more than one half the outline of the principal figures, which may be nearly, or in parts, entirely detached from the background, thus distinguish ing it from basso-rilievo (q.v.) . It is not only the actual degree of relief, high or low, which is implied by these two terms, but a resultant difference also of design and treatment necessitated by the contingent differences of light and shadow. (See SCULP TURE : Technique, Modelling.)