I have seen a few pictures like this one, but I never found out what to call them:

enter image description here
Artwork by Matei Apostolescu

It doesn't necessarily need to be this abstract, just a detailed illustration, where lots of things are going on or are just present (perhaps I'd compare it to Where is Waldo illustrations).
What key words to use if you want to find more pictures like this one?

  • Where's Waldo illustrations are usually "Crowd Scenes", but I don't know if that applies when the subject matter isn't a group of people.
    – Aww_Geez
    May 10, 2021 at 20:27

3 Answers 3


In german it can be called Wimmelbild. That's usually for kids, where they can find stuff, think you call it where's wally in english:


Here is some discussion about the word:


They call it "crowd scene" or "illustrated panorama".

  • Hi rainer, nice answer, I'd never heard of the word. Welcome to Arts & Crafts!
    – Joachim
    May 10, 2021 at 9:29

It's hard to pinpoint, because it's neither a genre nor a style, but it reminds me of horror vacui, i.e. 'fear of empty space' (think vacuum horror), a type of design that gained special popularity during the Baroque period, when elaborate shapes and intricate decorations ideally adorned every last piece of surface in art and architecture.
Searching for the term in search engines will yield similar images.


In English, I'd call it a "busy" image.

  • 1
    I don't think the OP is looking for a word to describe the scene as a scene, but how such an image (an image of a busy scene, or a busy image) would be called.
    – Joachim
    May 10, 2021 at 19:39

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