a 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 ?
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.
He brought out a picture of two curly-headed Italian urchins playing marbles.
Granpa huffed up with me still on his lap and got out one of his magazine books and showed me a picture of a man all dressed up and sitting in front a lot of books.
There was a picture of Granma and Granpa when they was young, holding hands.
Kuklick gives us a picture of the ball park's steady, seemingly inexorable, decline.