A pictorialist was a member of a photographic movement, mainly in the early 20th century, that thought that photography should imitate tradional painting. They tended to use soft focus lenses and went for a dreamy atmosphere. Edward Weston started out as a pictorialist. William Mortensen was another example. Group F64 (Adams, Weston, ...) was a reaction against pictorialism.
Ahhh, thanks to Adams and Weston for saving us! When I think about soft focus lenses...my blood runs cold.