a picture of

the picture of (something)

The ideal example of something (which is stated after "of"). Yes, Jill was in the hospital a few months ago, but she's the picture of health now. We went running together just the other day.
See also: of, picture

(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.
In place of a portrait on the aforementioned poster, there is a picture of Bayless posing next to a young Robert Petersen holding a copy of Spin Fishing magazine.
Berry says when a picture of a thin "couch potato" came up, the participants were quick to say the colour of the word that appeared.
"Yes you do." 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.
Kuklick gives us a picture of the ball park's steady, seemingly inexorable, decline.