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.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
More on picturesque from Infoplease:
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Art: General