Many think of the picturesque with a tinge of disgust; and if we can avoid the feeling overwhelming thought all together, disgust can lead us a long way into the aesthetic theory of the picturesque. The things said to be picturesque are typically eighteenth-century motifs that have become clichés – china ornaments of cottages and shepherdesses; table mats with scenes of the Lakes … It is not difficult to find equivalences in modern life, such as television programmes about city executives downsizing to a new life in the organic communities of a rural town; or for that matter, cottage-styled suburban houses with illogically complicated roofs packed cheek by jowl in the outer suburbs. Such picturesque objects represent a too easy reconciliation of past and present, city and country, art and life; and there hangs about them a cloying whiff of pot-pourri, obscuring both the actuality of existence and the work that goes into authentic culture. Now, at a second order of consideration, it is obvious to those who have the sense to be disgusted at such things that the picturesque functions ideologically: that the shepherdesses were scarred with smallpox, the cottages awash with pig shit and choked with smoke; that the image of home offered by the suburban villa is thoroughly traduced when built at the densities most people can afford. Hence, disgust at picturesqueness is doubled in a disgust at those with a taste for it, who picture the world in the form of a hand-me-down wish. Those who are fond of picturesqueness offend logic, but to know this is the beginning of a fuller disgust at them, for a sensibility that exceeds their judgement, and for a facile aesthetics that leaves no space for the struggle of art. It is said that the surest kind of disgust is aroused by the taste of others. The picturesque is one term for this relation.