Chocolate box art
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Chocolate box art originally referred literally to decorations on chocolate boxes. Over the years the terminology has developed and is now applied broadly as a descriptive, but often pejorative, term to describe paintings and designs that are warm, idealistic and sentimental.
Renoir's paintings have been described as "chocolate box" and have been derided by the likes of Degas and Picasso for being happy, inoffensive scenes. Constable's landscapes have also been so described.
Aelbert Cuyp's River Landscape (1660), despite being widely regarded as his best work, has been criticised as having "chocolate box blandness". Fred Swan is a modern day proponent of chocolate box paintings as, to his detractors, was Thomas Kinkade.
The term has also been applied to sculpture. A young couple standing locked in an embrace forms the centrepiece for the new £800m St Pancras International station in central London. Entitled The Meeting Place, the £1m sculpture is by Briton Paul Day who admitted, "Some will say it is a chocolate box sculpture".