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Graphic vs Vivid vs Picturesque vs Pictorial

Graphic, vividpicturesquepictorial are comparable when they mean having or manifesting a quality or character that produces a strong, clear impression, especially a visual impression. All of these words apply particularly but not exclusively to works of art and especially of literature.

Something graphic has the power to evoke a strikingly clear-cut, lifelike picture; the term categorizes such arts as painting, drawing, engraving, and etching (the graphic arts), the object of each of which is to present a picture, but it is also meaningfully applied to a representation of things in words.

Something vivid is so vigorously alive that it is felt, seen, heard, or otherwise apprehended with a sense of its intense reality. The term may apply to what actually exists and impresses itself with such sharp force on the imagination that the memory retains the sight, sound, or other impression.

The term may also apply to a mental state or process of which one is oneself intensely aware.

Frequently the term applies to whatever represents life or one’s imaginative conceptions (as a picture, or a play, or a story) or to matters (as style, colors, language, or situations) which are involved in such a representation; then the implication is of a power, either in the representation itself or in the means of representation, to evoke clearly defined pictures and to give a strong sense of their distinct quality and of their living force.

Something picturesque has, in general, the qualities or the character which one believes essential to a striking or effective picture. The term is applicable to a place, a person, or a building or other construction as well as to a work of graphic, literary, or plastic art and to a style or manner (as in writing or painting) and it carries in every use an implication that the thing has been observed and judged with regard for its form, color, atmosphere, striking or unfamiliar detail, or sharp contrasts rather than for qualities which are not perceptible to the eye or that do not draw the eye because they are lacking in distinctness and charm. Sometimes picturesque specifically implies a kind of wild, rugged beauty associated with untouched or undisciplined nature or with things being reclaimed by nature.

In still other contexts the term implies a charm arising rather from remoteness, strangeness, quaintness, informality, or diversity.

Something pictorial presents or aims to present a vivid picture; thus, the pictorial arts are the same as the graphic arts, but the emphasis is upon the objective rather than upon the medium; a pictorial style of poetry uses words as though they were colors or pigments by which a vivid representation is produced.