Picturesque

DEFINITION

A description of that which is akin to beauty and formulated by 19th century English theoreticians and articulated by Reverend William Gilpin (1724-1804), schoolmaster of Salisbury. He wrote the description as "that particular quality, which makes objects chiefly pleasing in painting." It also included variety, rough textures, and small scale. Thomas Cole referenced the word picturesque when discussing his philosophies of landscape painting, which he applied to the Hudson River School, 1820-1880. Further description includes rich in meandering line and charming, evocative detail. Soothing and day-dreamy ??? a country cottage or ruins of a Gothic shrine overrun with flowering vines. Thomas Doughty (1793-1852) predating Cole, applied principles of Picturesque to his paintings. Partial source: Andrew Wilton and Tim Barringer, "American Sublime: Landscape Painting in the United States, 1820-1880".<br><br>In general, this may refer to any scene which seems to be especially suitable for representation in a picture, especially that which is sublime. It is especially associated with an aesthetic mode formulated in the late eighteenth century which valued deliberate rusticity, irregularities of design, and even a cultivated pursuit of quaint or nostalgic forms. Such pictures became common in nineteenth century Europe and America. Examples can be found among the American painters of the Hudson River school ? Thomas Cole (1801-1848), Jasper Cropsey (1823-1900), and Asher B. Durand (1796-1886) ? and of the Rocky Mountain school ? Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902) and Thomas Moran (1837-1926).Quote: Picturesque painting required an "assemblage of harmonious parts," an arrangement on canvas of "Nature&#39;s choicest materials" by adding, changing and cosmetically beautifying landscape for aesthetic pleasure, something perhaps best done in the studio. The Politics of the Picturesque: Literature, Landscape and Aesthetics Since 1770, edited by Stephen Copley and Peter Garside. Cambridge University Press, 1994. pp. 241-257. Also see bad art, calendar painting, chinoiserie, kitsch, landscape, low art, paint-by-number, pastoral, rustic, sacral-idyllic scene, and seascape.

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