picturesque


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picturesque,

term used in 18th-century England to refer to a landscape that looked as if it had come out of an academic painting. Used as derogatory criticism of such painting, the picturesque was considered pretty rather than beautiful.
References in classic literature ?
Every body pretends to feel and tries to describe with the taste and elegance of him who first defined what picturesque beauty was.
Their craggy sides are clothed with vegetation, and white specks of houses peep out from the luxuriant foliage everywhere; they are even perched upon jutting and picturesque pinnacles a thousand feet above your head.
The moon was bright, and the light and shadow very strong; and nothing could be more picturesque than those curving streets, with their rows of huge high gables leaning far over toward each other in a friendly gossiping way, and the crowds below drifting through the alternating blots of gloom and mellow bars of moonlight.
They are very picturesque, but do not look prepossessing.
This gracious English maiden, with her clinging robes, her amulets and girdles, with something quaint and angular in her step, her carriage something mediaeval and Gothic, in the details of her person and dress, this lovely Evelyn Vane (isn't it a beautiful name?) is deeply, delightfully picturesque. She is much a woman--elle est bien femme, as they say here; simpler, softer, rounder, richer than the young girls I spoke of just now.
On the first landing I met a Flemish housemaid: she had wooden shoes, a short red petticoat, a printed cotton bedgown, her face was broad, her physiognomy eminently stupid; when I spoke to her in French, she answered me in Flemish, with an air the reverse of civil; yet I thought her charming; if she was not pretty or polite, she was, I conceived, very picturesque; she reminded me of the female figures in certain Dutch paintings I had seen in other years at Seacombe Hall.
Sometimes a roughly-built sawmill appears in a picturesque position, with its stacks of long pine trunks with the bark peeled off, and its mill stream, brought from the bed of the torrent in great square wooden pipes, with masses of dripping filament issuing from every crack.
It seemed as though the Priests had no choice between submission and extermination; when suddenly the course of events was completely changed by one of those picturesque incidents which Statesmen ought never to neglect, often to anticipate, and sometimes perhaps to originate, because of the absurdly disproportionate power with which they appeal to the sympathies of the populace.
The bottom of this immense valley is dotted with some mountains, that give to these submarine places a picturesque aspect.
She brought an unusual number of passengers, some of whom remained on deck to scan the picturesque panorama of the town, while the greater part disembarked in the boats, and landed on the quay.
'You're safe from being overfed: You're sweetly picturesque in rags: You never know the aching head That comes along with money-bags: And you have time to cultivate That best of qualities, Content-- For which you'll find your present state Remarkably convenient!'
I parted with him for no such picturesque reason, for I never believed him other than the truest and faithfulest of friends, but because I was then giving myself more entirely to work in which he could not help me.