Study of a storm cloud

Made:
1803-1811
artist:
Luke Howard

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Royal Meteorological Society|Enquiries to Science Museum, London
Royal Meteorological Society|Enquiries to Science Museum, London

Cloud study by Luke Howard, c1803-1811: ambiguous cloud study; storm cloud, unclear if dark or light area is cloud or position of sun; upturned, resembles seascape and foam at shore with landmass. Blue and grey wash, with white, 12x19cm

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
Measurements:
image: 120 x 190 mm
Identifier:
1981-862/49
type:
drawing
credit:
On loan from the Royal Meteorological Society

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