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The Art of Clouds

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Grad your cloud identification guide and figure out which types of clouds are found in about two dozen landscape paintings through this educational activity.

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The Art of Clouds

  1. 1. The Art of Clouds Can you guess which clouds the artist painted?
  2. 2. Can you identify cloud types in landscape paintings? Directions: Take a look at each piece of art and try to identify the clouds. The following slide has the answer. Good luck!
  3. 3. Title: Route de Louveciennes Artist: Camille Pissarro, a nineteenth century French Impressionist painter
  4. 4. There are cumulus clouds. The clouds have distinct edges and puffy shapes. Photo: Carlye Calvin/UCAR
  5. 5. Title: The Beach at Sainte-Adresse Artist: Claude Monet, a nineteenth century French Impressionist painter
  6. 6. Altocumulus clouds that look like little puffs are painted with large brushstrokes of soft white and blue. Photo: Carlye Calvin/UCAR
  7. 7. Title: Field of Poppies Artist: Claude Monet, a nineteenth century French Impressionist painter
  8. 8. Low cumulus clouds with distinct edges and puffy shapes Photo: Olga and Sergei Kuznetsov
  9. 9. Title: The Tower of London Artist: Robert Havell, an early nineteenth century British artist
  10. 10. These are mostly long mid-level clouds called altostratus. Photo: Peggy LeMone
  11. 11. Title: Seascape Study with Rain Cloud Artist: John Constable, a ninteenth century British artist
  12. 12. Cumulonimbus clouds can turn dark and cause rain. The rain is usually not widespread. Instead it is in one spot. Photo: Wikipedia
  13. 13. Title: Weymouth Bay Artist: John Constable, a ninteenth century British artist
  14. 14. These cumulus clouds are beginning to grow vertically. They might have turned into a thunderstorm later in the day. Photo: Olga and Sergei Kuznetsov
  15. 15. Title: Cloud Study Artist: John Constable (1776-1837) British painter
  16. 16. The clouds in front are cumulus. There are wispy cirrus clouds behind. Photos: Lisa Gardiner (top) Olga and Sergei Kuznetsov (bottom)
  17. 17. Title: Place Saint-Marc a Venise, Vue du Grand Canal Artist: Eugene Bourdin, a nineteenth century French painter
  18. 18. The clouds that are higher in the atmosphere might be altocumulus or stratocumulus. The low clouds look like cumulus. Photo: Carlye Calvin
  19. 19. Title: The Grand Canal, Venice Artist: Joseph Mallord William Turner, a ninteenth century British artist
  20. 20. This type of altocumulus cloud is sometimes called a mackerel sky because the cloud looks like the markings on a mackerel fish. Photo: Peggy LeMone
  21. 21. Title : View of Delft Artist: Jan Vermeer, a seventeenth century Dutch painter
  22. 22. The clouds in this painting look like stratocumulus. Photo: Olga and Sergei Kuznetsov
  23. 23. Title: Storm in the Rocky Mountains Artist : Albert Bierstadt, nineteenth century American landscape painter
  24. 24. The clouds have the rounded crisp edges and vertical development of cumulonimbus clouds. Photo: Wikipedia
  25. 25. Title: The Lackawanna Valley Artist: George Inness, a nineteenth century American painter
  26. 26. There is a low and uniform layer of stratus clouds. Note that the smoke from the chimney is going straight up so there must not be much wind. Photo: Sara Martin
  27. 27. Title: Saint-Mammes Artist: Alfred Sisley, nineteenth century English Impressionist painter
  28. 28. There are just a few small cumulus clouds in the upper left. Photo: Carlye Calvin
  29. 29. Title: Seacoast Artist: Richard Parkes Bonington (1802-1828) English landscape painter
  30. 30. This sky has a uniform cover of stratus or altostratus clouds. Photo: Sara Martin
  31. 31. Title: Le Pont des Arts Artist: Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) French painter
  32. 32. There appears to be two cloud types in the sky: mid-level altocumulus clouds and lower stratocumulus clouds. Photos: UCAR (top) Olga and Sergei Kuznetsov (bottom)
  33. 33. Title: View of Toledo (Spain) Artist: El Greco, a 17th Century artist from Greece who lived in Spain
  34. 34. The towering dark clouds in the sky look like thunderstorm clouds called cumulonimbus. Photo: Wikipedia
  35. 35. Title: Evening on the Volga Artist: Issac Levitan, a ninteenth century Russian landscape painter
  36. 36. These are large stratocumulus clouds. Photo: Peggy LeMone
  37. 37. Title: After the Rain The Lake of Terni Artist: Issac Levitan, a ninteenth century Russian landscape painter
  38. 38. After rain has ended, broken pieces of low clouds called scud are left in the sky. Behind the scud are altocumulus clouds. Photo: Peggy LeMone
  39. 39. , Title: Cloud Shadows Artist: Winslow Homer, a ninteenth century American painter and illustrator
  40. 40. These are stratocumulus clouds. Photo: Wikipedia
  41. 41. , Title: Flower Beds in Holland Artist: Vincent van Gogh, nineteenth century Dutch painter
  42. 42. Stratocumulus clouds look long like stratus, but are puffy like cumulus. Photo: Peggy LeMone
  43. 43. , Title: Wheat Field with Cypress Trees Artist: Vincent van Gogh, a nineteenth century Dutch painter
  44. 44. ? What types of clouds did van Gogh see in the sky when he captured this scene? It is difficult to tell!
  45. 45. Title: Altocumulus Artist: Graeme Stephens, contemporary artist and atmospheric scientist at Colorado State University
  46. 46. He painted altocumulus clouds! Photo: UCAR
  47. 47. • • • A teacher’s guide for using The Art of Clouds with students is available at https://spark.ucar.edu/activity/seeing-clouds-artist This educational resource was developed by Lisa Gardiner with art review help from Becca Hatheway, Peggy LeMone, and Julia Genyuk, and cloud type identification by Peggy LeMone. The Art of Clouds is made possible with funding from the Center for Multi-Scale Modeling of Atmospheric Processes (CMMAP) and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) to the Windows to the Universe project at UCAR. © 2011 NESTA with modifications by UCAR

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