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.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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