The papers aims at answering the question: “What is an ekphrasis?” by enumerating a series of definitions that have been given to the concept. The article begins with some general remarks on the relation between a literary and a visual work of art, followed by an etymological and chronological frame of the concept / term ekphrasis. Special emphasis is laid upon ekphrasis theorists like Murray Krieger, Linda Hutcheon, A. W. Hefferman, Dan Grigorescu, Erwin Panofsky. Ekphrasis is not the only way by which one may associate literature and painting, the alternative being represented by picturality and iconicity. On a narratological / meta-narratological / meta-narrative level, it equally involves a complementarity between trans-textuality, transposition, intertextuality, commutability (Kristeva, Genette, Baudrillard). The three techniques do not exclude each other; on the contrary, they interact and cooperate in the act of reading and interpretation. Ekphrasis is the art of describing works of art, a verbal representation of a visual representation.