Most accounts of the picturesque rightly emphasize the '-esque'. We might say that this suffix indicates the valency of pictures; their ability to make new attachments and to have new uses. But it would be mistaken and anachronistic not to remember that in the eighteenth century 'picture' in picturesque was not 'image' in a general, abstract sense. Pictures are also material objects, with a particular spatiality and tied to, but distinct from, painting, a discipline with its own history of concepts and techniques. The once radical idea that pictorial thinking can provide ways of making architecture and landscape is now a commonplace. By focusing on the materiality and the conventions of the picture we can understand how things came about, and also unpick some of the self-evidence of the picturesque today.