Preferred term: image

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1. The art of painting; representation by painting. "Any well-expressed image . . . Either in picture or sculpture." (Sir H. Wotton)

2. A representation of anything (as a person, a landscape, a building) upon canvas, paper, or other surface, produced by means of painting, drawing, engraving, photography, etc.; a representation in colours. By extension, a figure; a model. "Pictures and shapes are but secondary objects." (Bacon) "The young king's picture . . . In virgin wax." (Howell)

3. An image or resemblance; a representation, either to the eye or to the mind; that which, by its likeness, brings vividly to mind some other thing; as, a child is the picture of his father; the man is the picture of grief. "My eyes make pictures when they are shut." (Coleridge)

Picture is often used adjectively, or in forming self-explaining compounds; as, picture book or picture-book, picture frame or picture-frame, picture seller or picture-seller, etc. Picture gallery, a gallery, or large apartment, devoted to the exhibition of pictures. Picture red, a rod of metal tube fixed to the walls of a room, from which pictures are hung. Picture writing. The art of recording events, or of expressing messages, by means of pictures representing the actions or circumstances in question. The record or message so represented; as, the picture writing of the American Indians.

Synonyms: Picture, Painting.

Every kind of representation by drawing or painting is a picture, whether made with oil colours, water colours, pencil, crayons, or India ink; strictly, a painting is a picture made by means of coloured paints, usually applied moist with a brush.

Origin: L. Pictura, fr. Pingere, pictum, to paint: cf. F. Peinture. See Paint.

(01 Mar 1998)

Pictorial Janus, picts, pictura, picture < Prev | Next > picture element, picture element

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