Word of the Day – May 8, 2012

bas-relief (noun)

bah ruh LEEF

sculpture in which figures are carved in a flat surface, so that they project only slightly from the background

Angkor’s most spectacular architectural achievement is Angkor Wat. Occupying a square mile of cleared jungle, surrounded by a wide moat it is, according to some, the largest stone monument and the largest religious structure in the world. Virtually every inch of the mellow gray sandstone, inside and out, is carved with bas-reliefs — half a mile of them. The most famous relief, depicting a Hindu mythological scene called the “Churning of the Sea of Milk,” is a masterpiece of world art, a superbly balanced composition and a carving of exceptionally high quality.
Jamie James     April 2002

… from More Words That Make A Difference

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