Cloud study of cumulus and developing nimbus

Made:
1803-1811 in England
artist:
Luke Howard
Cloud study of cumulus and developing nimbus (drawing)

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Royal Meteorological Society. Enquiries to Science Museum, London

Cloud study by Luke Howard, c1803-1811: Cumulus and developing nimbus, preparatory to rain. Blue and grey wash with white (recto); Cumulus developing cirrus. Grey wash (verso)

Chemist and amateur meterologist Luke Howard captured the different shapes and colours of clouds in these delicate pencil and watercolour sketches. Along with observations of height and movement, he managed the unimaginable and classified the clouds. Howard identified three basic families of clouds, using Latin names: cirrus ('curl of hair'), stratus ('layer') and cumulus ('heap' or 'pile'). He then added a further four subcategories - cirro-cumulus, cirro-stratus (nimbus) to explain the way clouds could swiftly change in appearance or join with others in the sky. Howard collaborated with the artist Edward Kennion to produce more picturesque cloud sketches for the third edition of his 'Essay on the Modification of Clouds' published in Alexander Tilloch’s 'Philosophical Magazine' in 1865.

Details

Category:
Art
Object Number:
1981-862/37
Materials:
paper, watercolour
Measurements:
overall (secondary support): 254 mm x 339 mm
overall (original): 185 mm x 270 mm
type:
drawing
credit:
On loan from the Royal Meteorological Society