Forming, or fitted to form, a good or pleasing picture; representing with the clearness or ideal beauty appropriate to a picture; expressing that peculiar kind of beauty which is agreeable in a picture, natural or artificial; graphic; vivid; as, a picturesque scene or attitude; picturesque language.
Eighteenth-century English concept of arranging pictorial and architectural elements to emulate the pictures of seventeenth-century landscape painters such as Claude Lorrain and Nicolas Poussin. Picturesque elements include irregular composition with groupings that leads the eye to hazy distances and broad areas of light and dark, often using ruins, gardens and rolling lawns as subject matter.
an artistic principle in both painting and gardening that emphasizes the rough and irregular, the surprising, the various, the commonplace, and the decaying or aged; picturesque gardening and painting were mutually influential.
suggesting or suitable for a picture; pretty as a picture; "a picturesque village"
Representing the charm in scenes or ideas, without attaining beauty or sublimity.
This word is used in two is used it two senses (1) in a general sense to mean 'a scene which is suitable for painting' (2) in a specialised sense to mean 'an intermediate category between the Sublime and the Beautiful' [See postcard] - DEFINITIONS Return to glossary index
common in 19th century Europe and America, a style of representational landscape painting which focuses on unusual designs and rustic or quaint features.
(pittoresco in Italian). Worthy of being painted, that attracts attention, charms or amuses because of its originality.
A gardening style of the 18th century which sought to harness the wild beauty of nature as in a painting.
A landscape that naturally or artificially creates a good or pleasing scene which could be beautifully rendered as a landscape painting; representing with the clearness or ideal beauty appropriate to a picture.
As used in common language, picturesque means “Forming, or fitted to form, a good or pleasing picture.” Art historically, Picturesque is a style of landscape painting that emphasizes a sentimental aesthetic over the sublime. A style of landscape painting that reassures man of dominion over nature.
Picturesque is an aesthetic ideal first introduced into English cultural debate in 1782 by William Gilpin in Observations of the River Wye, and Several Parts of South Wales, etc. Relative Chiefly to Picturesque Beauty; made in the Summer of the Year 1700, a practical book which instructed Englands leisured travelers to examine "the face of a country by the rules of picturesque beauty". Picturesque, along with the aesthetic and cultural strands of Gothic and Celticism, was a part the emerging Romanticism sensibility of the 18th century.