Cloud study by Luke Howard, c1803: Rain hitting the ground; anvil is spread out. Grey and blue wash (verso). Inscribed in pencil, upturned: Shower in Profile. Larger, controlled version with added yellow and buff highlight wash (recto)
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.
overall (original): 85 mm x 237 mm
overall (secondary support): 148 mm x 310 mm
- On loan from the Royal Meteorological Society
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