As a result, reliefsculpture was generally used to decorate the walls of buildings—particularly Hindu and Buddhist temples—and was accomplished on a very large scale.
Most of ancient Southeast Asian reliefsculpture was done in bas-relief, where the projecting images have shallow overall depth, although the kingdom of Champa in southern and central Vietnam excelled in haut-reliefsculpture, which was marked by much greater depth and undercut areas.
In addition, a group of 160 panels of monumental reliefsculpture provides a complete illustration of the law of karma or the principles of cause and effect.
The earliest surviving example of Khmer narrative bas-reliefsculpture comes from the 10th-century Hindu temple of Banteay Srei, which has carved tympana and towers depicting scenes from the great Hindu epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.
The most famous example of Khmer bas-reliefsculpture is undoubtedly at the 12th-century Hindu temple of Angkor Wat, which has 13,000 square meters of narrative bas-reliefs on the walls of its outer gallery .
Sculpture and architecture were intimately connected in Southeast Asia and monumental reliefs were used to decorate the walls of buildings.
Lazare a masterpiece of Romanesque art is the quality of Gislebertus' sculpture that appears on dozens of capitals in the nave and chancel: including scenes from the Bible carved in stone in a very particular style.
Lazare contains the tympanum (1130–1135), signed Gislebertus hoc fecit (meaning Gislebertus made this) within the portico which is ranked among the masterpieces of Romanesque sculpture in France .
The sheer size of the tympanum required that double lintels support it with a middle column to further support the sculpture.
In the Last Judgement, Gislebertus successfully integrated the modern view of heaven and hell and created a sculpture that would act as a visual educational device for individuals that were illiterate.
The tympanum would have inspired terror in believers that passed beneath it and viewed the detailed high reliefsculpture.