The aesthetic philosophy of the picturesque is the middle ground between the beautiful and the sublime. The picturesque can be viewed as a mediator between the two rationally idealized states. While the beautiful offers elements of smoothness and color, and the sublime illustrates the unknown and vast, the picturesque offers a third term, almost like a middle ground, a more practical way to think about landscape.
In “Tintern Abbey”, one of, if not the greatest work of William Wordsworth, Wordsworth is thoroughly grounded with the picturesque philosophy. He hears the “waters, rolling from their mountain springs” running along the edge of the “steep and lofty cliffs.” (390) The scenes he describes is not smooth or colorful yet is also does not provoke a strong emotion of the unkown or vast. It is the middle ground between those to ideas that allow “Tintern Abbey” to epitomize the aesthetic philosophy in the picturesque.