Sublime, Beautiful, and Picturesque

Sublime

Beautiful

Picturesque

  • Associated with terror
  • causes: darkness, power, privation
  • intended effect: astonishment
  • relates to self-preservation
  • expands and elevates the soul
  • beyond real representation
  • Associated with pleasure
  • causes: smallness, smoothness, delicacy
  • intended effect: love
  • relates to society
  •  derives from ideas connected with pictures
  • Asymmetrical; winding; rugged
  • interests the eye first, the mind second


  • William Gilpin, Three Essays: On Picturesque Beauty; On Picturesque Travel; and on Sketching Landscape: to which is Added a Poem, On Landscape Painting (London, 1792)
  • Richard Payne Knight, An Analytical Inquiry into the Principles of Taste, 3rd ed. (London, 1806)
  • Uvedale Price, An Essay on the Picturesque, as Compared with the Sublime and the Beautiful; and on the Use of Studying Pictures, for the Purpose of Improving Real Landscape, rev. ed. (London, 1796)