This generic term refers to a scene (usually short) establishing location, atmosphere, or period, but a tableau is usually thought of as a picture or image presenting something like a living fresco. The expression "hold picture," which literally indicates the idea of freezing action into an appealing image, is used interchangeably with tableau. A related term is tableau vivant, which involves performers frozen in decorous positions like a living painting. These were particularly popular in society, as described in Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth, as well as in musicals and revues between 1880 and 1930.

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .

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  • tableau — [ tablo ] n. m. • 1285 tabliau « panneau de bois, de métal... portant des inscriptions, des images »; de table I ♦ 1 ♦ (1355 « toile pour peinture ») Œuvre picturale exécutée sur un support rigide et autonome. ⇒ panneau, peinture, toile . Tableau …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • tableau — Tableau. s. m. Ouvrage de peinture sur une table de bois, de cuivre &c. ou sur de la toile. Un beau tableau. un grand tableau. un tableau de Raphaël, du Titien, du Poussin &c. le fond d un tableau. le dessein & l ordonnance d un tableau. la… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Tableau — (plural: tableaux; from the French diminutive of table , sometimes meaning picture ) may mean:* Tableau vivant, a motionfull performance in theatre * Young tableau, a combinatorial object built on partition diagrams * Method of analytic tableaux… …   Wikipedia

  • Tableau — Sn Gemälde, Schilderung, Übersicht per. Wortschatz fach. (18. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus frz. tableau, zu l. tabula.    Ebenso nndl. tableau, ne. tableau, nschw. tablå, nnorw. tablå; Tafel. ✎ DF 5 (1981), 10. französisch l …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • tableau — (n.) 1690s, a picturesque or graphic description or picture, from Fr. tableau picture, painting, from O.Fr. table slab, writing tablet (see TABLE (Cf. table) (n.)) + dim. suffix eau, from L. ellus. Hence tableau vivant (1817) person or persons… …   Etymology dictionary

  • tableau — {{/stl 13}}{{stl 7}}[wym. tablo – akcent na ostatniej sylabie] {{/stl 7}}{{stl 8}}rz. n ndm {{/stl 8}}{{stl 7}} pamiątkowa tablica, na której umieszczone są pojedyncze zdjęcia osób uczęszczających do jednej klasy, należących do jednej grupy,… …   Langenscheidt Polski wyjaśnień

  • tableau — de peinture, Picta tabula. Un tableau où estoient ces mots escrits, Incisa tabula his literis. Le tableau où sont les noms de tous les Conseillers de la Cour, Album Curiae. B …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • tableau — /fr. taˈblo/ [vc. fr., dim. di table «tavola»] s. m. inv. 1. (di roulette) tappeto 2. (di informazioni) tabella, quadro FRASEOLOGIA tableau vivant, quadro vivente …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • tableau — [tab′lō΄, ta blō′] n. pl. tableaux [tab′lōz΄, tablōz′] or tableaus [Fr < OFr tablel, dim. of table: see TABLE] 1. a striking, dramatic scene or picture 2. TABLEAU VIVANT …   English World dictionary

  • Tableau — Ta bleau , n.; pl. {Tableaux}. [F., dim. fr. L. tabula a painting. See {Table}.] 1. A striking and vivid representation; a picture. [1913 Webster] 2. A representation of some scene by means of persons grouped in the proper manner, placed in… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Tableau I — is a 1921 painting by Piet Mondrian. Like many of his works of that period, it consists of rectangles of colour, separated by black lines. It has been said that it is in fact British Prime Minister Gordon Brown s favourite painting, and that he… …   Wikipedia

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