I'm looking for a word that describes an instance of a class of objects typically viewed from one angle (i.e. the front) but in this case is viewable or is interesting from all angles. For example, many sculptures may have a "dominant" or intended "front," but perhaps a sculpture like this one...

enter image description here

...might be intended to be viewed from all directions. This sculpture might be called a _______ sculpture.

  • This type of three-dimensional sculpture with no flat backdrop is called sculpture in the round. A more specific categorisation is "sculptural group". I didn't find a term for one that has interesting aspects to be discovered from different non-conventional angles. – niamulbengali Jan 23 at 8:18
  • @niamulbengali Sculpture in the round doesn't always imply a sculpture should or even can be seen from all directions. – Joachim Jan 23 at 9:26
  • The photo referenced is Rodin's Burghers of Calais, by the way. – Joachim Jan 23 at 9:26
  • Does this answer your question? How do you say "in all directions" in a single word? – Ahmed Jan 23 at 10:48
  • All free-standing sculpture can be presumed to be intended for viewing from any direction; if not, it is a relief sculpture. So perhaps your example from sculpture is unfortunate for the more general sense of your question. – JEL Jan 23 at 23:09

The word circumvisual has been used to describe this circumstance:

“Circumvisual PhotoDroid". Her nine eyes represents the nine cameras used in filming the show in the round, thus showing the view from them on each of the nine movie screens. Guests then can watch her training videos, which include a plunge over Niagara Falls, a flight into a barn full of dynamite in Topeka, Kansas, a swirling ride aboard a centrifugator, and hitching a ride on a space shuttle.”


Although the meaning is clear and the need for the word is convincing, it does not seem to have caught on. Google ngram does not find it.


While this word might be bit of a stretch in the given context, its meaning could be exploited metaphorically for such a description as well—


continually shifting or rapidly changing


You might therefore put it like this:

Unlike most statues that restrict the viewer's field of vision, this one is kaleidoscopic— you could view it from multiple angles and it seems to create a different impression with each view: it's like a hologram in bronze.


The classic word is an Omnidirectional view but the current vernacular is multiviewed.

Sad that some are not familiar with this one.

Statues in India of God show it as two (male and female) coming into one. so the difference is superseded. Not part of the question but part of the answer just the same.

Your additional comment got me looking for Circum-xyz. It is not (yet) vernacular but one Latin term would be Circum-visibilis . Let's hope a Latin teacher can help with the conjugation.

  • 1
    Actually I did think about omnidirectional. But, it felt kinda weird, and maybe that's because the vernacular's been repurposed. Omnidirectional for some reason feels to me like you are in the center, describing your perspective. Whereas I'm looking for a word that evokes an external object's circum-xyz-ness. I might have to go with omnidirectional in the end though, so thanks! Will wait to see if anyone else has something. – Andrew Cheong Jan 23 at 4:16

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