picture of

(very) picture of something

Fig. the perfect example of something; an exact image of something. The young newlyweds were the picture of happiness. My doctor told me that I was the very picture of good health.
See also: of, picture

a (or the) picture of —

the embodiment of a specified state or emotion.
1989 Woman's Realm The…little girl looks a picture of health in her blue dungarees and red boots.
See also: of, picture
References in classic literature ?
It is Guido's picture of Perseus rescuing Andromeda from the sea-monster or whale.
In this book is an outline purporting to be a Picture of a Physeter or Spermaceti whale, drawn by scale from one killed on the coast of Mexico, August, and hoisted on deck.
It immediately suggested the picture of two people sitting alone over the fire; the man was reading, the woman sewing.
In looking round upon the other pieces, I remarked a pretty sketch of Linden-hope from the top of the hill; another view of the old hall basking in the sunny haze of a quiet summer afternoon; and a simple but striking little picture of a child brooding, with looks of silent but deep and sorrowful regret, over a handful of withered flowers, with glimpses of dark low hills and autumnal fields behind it, and a dull beclouded sky above.
There was a clock on the middle of the mantel- piece, with a picture of a town painted on the bottom half of the glass front, and a round place in the middle of it for the sun, and you could see the pendulum swinging behind it.
Baynes buried his face in his hands and rocked back and forth as the hideous picture of her fate burned itself into his consciousness.
Batterbury (much the more carefully-painted picture of the two) was summarily turned out.
And then looked again and there was a picture of John Dolittle's house.
Mr Sellers drew that picture of the Waukeesy Shoe and the Restawhile Settee and the tin of sardines in the Little Gem Sardine advertisement.
It is in this poem that we have the picture of Oliver's old schoolmaster which I have already given you.
What an exquisite possession a good picture of her would be
It was here that he had spent his boyhood; barely an hour ago the two men had stood before the picture of his father.
I forget whether I have described Mary's personal appearance, but if so you have a picture of that sunny drawing-room.
With mournful pleasure she now lingered over these images, repelling with horror only the last one, the picture of his death, which she felt she could not contemplate even in imagination at this still and mystic hour of night.
discussing the effect of repeated similar stimuli in producing and modifying our images, he says: "We choose a case of mnemic excitement whose existence we can perceive for ourselves by introspection, and seek to ekphore the bodily picture of our nearest relation in his absence, and have thus a pure mnemic excitement before us.