Classic foral relief carved and painted by PM for J Chiles ~1925

Classic foral relief carved and painted by PM for J Chiles ~1925

Classic foral relief carved and painted by PM for J Chiles ~1925 (Detail)

Classic foral relief carved and painted by PM for J Chiles ~1925 (Detail)

Lotus carved door in oak by PM for Blankenship Home

Lotus carved door in oak by PM for Blankenship Home

Cartouche for Cohen family-Rice University 1927

Cartouche for Cohen family-Rice University 1927

Asian motif relief in walnut

Asian motif relief in walnut

Stephen F. Austin Portrait in Walnut 1939

Stephen F. Austin Portrait in Walnut 1939

Elizabet Ney Home by PM ~1930

Elizabet Ney Home by PM ~1930

Sunflowers presented to one of Peter's daughter's friends

Sunflowers presented to one of Peter's daughter's friends

Sam Houston portrait in Oak-PM's last carving

Sam Houston portrait in Oak-PM's last carving

Carved book cover by PM

Carved book cover by PM

Mission Concepcion (San Antonio, Tx) in walnut~1937

Mission Concepcion (San Antonio, Tx) in walnut~1937

Classical floral panel relief in walnut ~1930

Classical floral panel relief in walnut ~1930

San Antonio mission humidor in mahogany

San Antonio mission humidor in mahogany

Floral relief in walnut (overmantle) UTSA Libraries special collection

Floral relief in walnut (overmantle) UTSA Libraries special collection

Linen fold screen in oak

Linen fold screen in oak

Mantle relief carving in Williams home (walnut)

Mantle relief carving in Williams home (walnut)

UT law seal-UTSA Libraries special collection

UT law seal-UTSA Libraries special collection

UT tower book cover-UTSA Libraries special collection

UT tower book cover-UTSA Libraries special collection

Charles Dickens book cover-UTSA Libraries special collection

Charles Dickens book cover-UTSA Libraries special collection

Tejas Club faternity (UT) Motto sign in Walnut 1939

Tejas Club faternity (UT) Motto sign in Walnut 1939

Stephen F. Austin wooden tondo in walnut-1939

Stephen F. Austin wooden tondo in walnut-1939

"M" cartouche in walnut

Floral mirror in Walnut-painted

Floral mirror in Walnut-painted

Example Frame

Peter Mansbendel Relief Carvings

Peter Mansbendel was a master relief carver and it was the primary form he executed his work in.  He had a high degree of understanding of perspective and proportion. These abilities along with his other talents gave him the ability to picture a subject completely in his mind before he put the knife to the wood.

Relief
is a sculptural technique. The term relief is from the Latin verb levo, to raise. To create a sculpture in relief is thus to give the impression that the sculpted material has been raised above the background plane. What is actually performed when a relief is cut in from a flat surface of stone or wood is a lowering of the field, leaving the unsculpted parts seemingly raised. The technique thus involves considerable chiselling away of the background, which is a time-consuming exercise with little artistic effect if the lowered background is left plain, as is often the case. On the other hand, a relief saves forming the rear of a subject, and is less fragile and more securely fixed than a sculpture in the round, especially one of a standing figure where the ankles are a potential weak point, especially in stone. In other materials such as metal, clay, plaster stucco, ceramics or papier-mache the form can be just added to or raised up from the background, and monumental bronze reliefs are made by casting.

There are different degrees of relief depending on the degree of projection of the sculpted form from the field, for which the Italian appellations are still sometimes used. The full range includes high relief (alto-rilievo), where more than 50% of the depth is shown and there may be undercut areas, mid-relief (mezzo-rilievo), low-relief (basso-rilievo, or French: bas-relief), and shallow-relief or rilievo schiacciato, where the plane is scarcely more than scratched in order to remove background material. There is also sunk relief, which was mainly restricted to Ancient Egypt. However the distinction between high relief and low relief is the clearest and most important, and these two are generally the only terms used to discuss most work. The definition of these terms is somewhat variable, and many works combine areas in more than one of them, sometimes sliding between them in a single figure; accordingly some writers prefer to avoid all distinctions. The opposite of relief sculpture is counter-relief, intaglio, or cavo-rilievo, where the form is cut into the field or background rather than rising from it; this is very rare in monumental sculpture.

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