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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 alsofolly.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on picturesque, visit Britannica.com.