This article refers to the constellation "Pictor". For the Roman historian, please refer to the Quintus Fabius Pictor article.

Pictor (easel) is one of the minor southern (declination −50° to −60°) constellations.

Pictor is a small, faint constellation located between brilliant Canopus and the Large Magellanic Cloud.

Pictor has attracted attention in recent years because of its second-brightest star β Pictoris, 62.9 light-years distant, which is surrounded by an unusual dust disk rich in carbon.

Kapteyn's Star, a nearby red dwarf at the distance of 12.78 light years, is the closest halo star known.


Pictor was invented and named by Abbé Nicolas Louis de Lacaille — noted for his catalogue of nearly 10,000 southern stars, including 42 nebulous objects — in the 17th century. The constellation has no known pre-18th century mythology surrounding it.


  • "Pictor" literally means "painter". The name is an abbreviation of Equuleus Pictoris, "painter's easel".


  • Ian Ridpath and Wil Tirion (2007). Stars and Planets Guide, Collins, London. ISBN 978-0007251209. Princeton University Press, Princeton. ISBN 978-0691135564.

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