picturesque

/pik'cheuh resk"/, adj.
1. visually charming or quaint, as if resembling or suitable for a painting: a picturesque fishing village.
2. (of writing, speech, etc.) strikingly graphic or vivid; creating detailed mental images: a picturesque description of the Brazilian jungle.
3. having pleasing or interesting qualities; strikingly effective in appearance: a picturesque hat.
[1695-1705; < F pittoresque < It pittoresco (pittor(e) PAINTER + -esco -ESQUE), with assimilation to PICTURE]
Syn. 2. PICTURESQUE, GRAPHIC, VIVID apply to descriptions that produce a strong, especially a visual, impression. PICTURESQUE is a less precise term than the other two. A PICTURESQUE account, though striking and interesting, may be inaccurate or may reflect personal ideas: He called the landscape picturesque. A GRAPHIC account is more objective and factual: it produces a clear, definite impression, and carries conviction. A VIVID account is told with liveliness and intenseness; the description is so interesting, or even exciting, that the reader or hearer may be emotionally stirred.

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Artistic concept and style of the late 18th and early 19th century characterized by a preoccupation with architecture and landscape in pictorial combination with each other.

In Britain, the picturesque was defined as an aesthetic quality marked by pleasing variety, irregularity, asymmetry, and interesting textures; medieval ruins in a natural landscape were thought to be picturesque. John Nash produced some of the most exemplary works embodying the concept. See also folly.

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      artistic concept and style of the late 18th and early 19th centuries characterized by a preoccupation with the pictorial values of architecture and landscape in combination with each other.

      Enthusiasm for the picturesque evolved partly as a reaction against the earlier 18th-century trend of Neoclassicism, with its emphasis on formality, proportion, order, and exactitude. The term picturesque originally denoted a landscape scene that looked as if it came out of a painting in the style of the 17th-century French artists Claude Lorrain or Gaspard Poussin. In England, the picturesque was defined in a long controversy between Sir Uvedale Price and Richard Payne Knight as an aesthetic quality existing between the sublime (i.e., awe-inspiring) and the beautiful (i.e., serene), and one marked by pleasing variety, irregularity, asymmetry, and interesting textures. For example, medieval ruins in a natural landscape were thought to be quintessentially picturesque.

      The picturesque never evolved into a coherent theory, but various works of architecture and landscape gardening display its influence, particularly in an emphasis on the relation between buildings and their natural or landscaped setting. Price was the foremost exponent of the picturesque in landscape gardening. The English architect and town planner John Nash (Nash, John) produced some of the most exemplary works incorporating the concept. See also folly.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • 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 1770 , a …   Wikipedia

  • Picturesque — ist ein ästhetisches Ideal, das 1782 von William Gilpin in die englische Kulturdebatte eingeführt wurde. Mit seinem Buch Observations on the River Wye, and Several Parts of South Wales, etc. Relative Chiefly to Picturesque Beauty; made in the… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Picturesque — Pic tur*esque , a. [It. pittoresco: cf. F. pittoresque. See {Pictorial}.] 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • picturesque — [pik΄chər esk′] adj. [altered (by assoc. with PICTURE) < Fr pittoresque < It pittoresco < pittore, painter < L pictor, painter < pp. of pingere, to PAINT] 1. like or suggesting a picture; specif., a) having a wild or natural beauty …   English World dictionary

  • picturesque — (adj.) 1703, on pattern of Fr. pittoresque, a loan word from It. pittoresco pictorial (1660s), from pittore painter, from L. pictorem (nom. pictor), see PICTORIAL (Cf. pictorial) …   Etymology dictionary

  • picturesque — vivid, *graphic, pictorial Analogous words: charming, attractive, alluring (see under ATTRACT): conspicuous, salient, striking, arresting (see NOTICEABLE) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • picturesque — [adj] attractive, referring to scenery arresting, artistic, beautiful, charming, colorful, graphic, photographic, pictorial, pleasant, pretty, quaint, scenic, striking, vivid; concept 579 Ant. hideous, ugly, unsightly …   New thesaurus

  • picturesque — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ visually attractive in a quaint or charming manner. DERIVATIVES picturesquely adverb picturesqueness noun …   English terms dictionary

  • picturesque — [[t]pɪ̱ktʃəre̱sk[/t]] 1) ADJ GRADED A picturesque place is attractive and interesting, and has no ugly modern buildings. Alte, in the hills northwest of Loule, is the Algarve s most picturesque village. Derived words: picturesquely ADV GRADED… …   English dictionary

  • picturesque — adjective 1 a place that is picturesque is pretty and interesting, especially in an old fashioned way: a picturesque New England village in the fall 2 language that is picturesque uses unusual, interesting, or sometimes rude words to describe… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

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