Reliefs tend to be more common than freestanding sculpture for a number of reasons. First, a relief sculpture can portray a far wider range of subjects than a statue because of its economy of resources. For instance, a battle scene, that, if sculpted in the round, would require a huge amount of space and material, can be rendered much more easily in relief. Second, because a relief is attached to its background surface, problems of weight and physical balance do not arise - unlike in statues and other freestanding sculptures where weight and balance can be critical. Third, because reliefs are carved directly onto walls, portals, ceilings, floors and other flat surfaces, they are ideally suited to architectural projects - typically the greatest source of sculptural commissions - for which they can provide both decorative and narrative functions
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