I am trying to understand what to call an object that is not meant to be watched only from one point of view (e.g. an apple, a bottle ...). So it can be defined as a proper tridimensional object because it has no pseudo-bidimensionality (e.g. a painting or a low-relief are pseudo-bidimensional).

In Italian, there is a word "tutto-tondo" here the wikipedia link that is used for these objects by the art historians. It could be translated as "full-relief" maybe.

What's a word that can be used for defining this concept in English? Is there any word that can be used in the every-day language not related to the history of art?

  • I've edited to change 'how to call' (e.g. shout) to 'what to call' (e.g. sculpture). Please feel free to edit further or to roll back my changes.
    – Lawrence
    Feb 7 '18 at 16:05

I think you could describe it as being 'in the round' - this is an art term that means 'viewable from all directions' especially when referring to sculpture, and, in contrast to something that is 'a relief' meaning a one sided carving meant to be seen mostly front-on.

I believe your Italian term 'tutto rondo' at your wiki link, which also refers specifically to sculpture, translates as 'in the round' (it literally means 'fully rounded' or 'all round' I think - but in English art circles, we say 'in the round'.)

You can also say 'fully modelled' which refers mostly to fully 3D sculpture and specifically means that it can be viewed from all directions.

An example of use is:

  • "It's a fully modelled sculpture, made 'in the round'."

The definition at the link below is:

In the round - "(of sculpture) standing free with all sides shown, rather than carved in relief against a ground."


'In the round' can also refer to performsnces at circular theatres where the stage is seen from all sides.

If talking about a general item like a bottle, as you mention, the term '3 dimensional object' conveys that it may be viewed 'in the round'.

You may also describe something as being seen 'in the round':

The sculpture is meant to be seen 'in the round' - viewed from all sides.


In layman's terms, I would probably just call the object "three dimensional", or perhaps "fully three dimensional" if there was still doubt. While paintings and drawings do have a third dimension, it is typically insignificant compared to the other two, so most people only think about the two dimensions of interest. A relief sculpture extends into the third dimension, but I wouldn't say it's "fully three dimensional" since you can't pick it up or walk around it or appreciate its third dimension from an arbitrary viewpoint.

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