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Clouds in Art Gallery

There are many different types of clouds. Some are puffy and have distinct edges against the blue sky. Others cover the sky with a uniform layer of gray. And still others are thin and wispy. Clouds are classified into groups by their shape and also by their altitude in the atmosphere.

Clouds are often included in landscape paintings. If both the shape and altitude of the clouds in a painting are clear, then the cloud can be identified. The paintings below show examples of clouds in a variety of landscape paintings. Click on each to see a larger version and find credit information. Or follow links to the cloud pages and learn more about the many cloud types.

  • Title: Route de Louveciennes
  • Artist: Camille Pissarro, a nineteenth century French Impressionist painter
  • Clouds: There are puffy little cumulus clouds in the sky above the town. The clouds have distinct edges and cumulus shapes.
  • Title: The Lake of Terni
  • Artist: Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, a nineteenth century French painter
  • Clouds: The clouds in this painting look like mid-level clouds made of little puffs of white perhaps altocumulus clouds.
  • Title: The Old Berkshire Hunt

  • Artist: John Goode, a nineteenth century British artist

  • Clouds: It may have rained on the day depicted in this painting. The clouds may be the bottom of cumulonimbus.

  • Title: The Beach at Sainte-Adresse
  • Artist: Claude Monet, a nineteenth century French Impressionist painter
  • Clouds: Altocumulus clouds that look like little puffs are painted with large brushstrokes of soft white and blue
  • Title: Field of Poppies
  • Artist: Claude Monet, a nineteenth century French Impressionist painter
  • Clouds: low cumulus clouds with distinct edges and puffy shapes
  • Title: The Tower of London
  • Artist: Robert Havell, an early nineteenth century British artist
  • Clouds: Mostly elongate mid-level clouds called altostratus
  • Title: Seascape Study with Rain Cloud
  • Artist: John Constable (1776-1837) British artist
  • Clouds: Cumulonimbus clouds can turn dark and cause rain. The rain is usually not widespread. Instead it is in one spot, as he painted.
  • Title: Weymouth Bay
  • Artist: John Constable (1776-1837) British artist
  • Clouds: Cumulus clouds that are beginning to grow vertically. They might have turned into a thunderstorm later in the day.
  • Title: Cloud Study
  • Artist: John Constable (1776-1837) British painter
  • Clouds: Cumulus clouds in front and wispy cirrus clouds behind
  • Title: Place Saint-Marc a Venise, Vue du Grand Canal
  • Artist: Eugene Bourdin (1824-1898) nineteenth century French painter
  • Clouds: The clouds that are higher in the atmosphere might be altocumulus or stratocumulus. The low clouds look like cumulus.
  • Title: The Grand Canal, Venice
  • Artist: Joseph Mallord William Turner, British artist
  • Clouds: This is a type of altocumulus cloud sometimes called a mackerel sky because it is like the markings of a mackerel.
  • Title : View of Delft
  • Artist: Jan Vermeer (1632-1675) Dutch painter
  • Clouds: The clouds in this painting look like stratocumulus clouds.
  • Title: Garden of Rockies
  • Artist: Albert Bierstadt, nineteenth century American landscape painter
  • Clouds: In the center of the valley in this painting there is a low stratus cloud also called fog. There are some stratocumulus in the upper right.
  • Title: Storm in the Rocky Mountains
  • Artist : Albert Bierstadt, nineteenth century American landscape painter
  • Clouds: The clouds have the rounded crisp edges and vertical development of cumulonimbus clouds.
  • Title: The Lackawanna Valley
  • Artist: George Inness, a nineteenth century American painter
  • Clouds: There is a low and uniform layer of stratus clouds. Note that the smoke from the chimney is going straight up so there must be little wind.
  • Title: Saint-Mammes
  • Artist: Alfred Sisley, nineteenth century English Impressionist painter
  • Clouds: There are just a few small cumulus clouds in the upper left.
  • Title: Seacoast
  • Artist: Richard Parkes Bonington (1802-1828) English landscape painter
  • Clouds: This sky has a uniform cover of stratus or altostratus clouds.
  • Title: Le Pont des Arts
  • Artist: Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) French painter
  • Clouds: There appears to be two cloud types in the sky: mid-level altocumulus clouds and lower stratocumulus clouds.
  • Title: View of Toledo (Spain)
  • Artist: El Greco, a 17th Century artist from Greece who lived in Spain
  • Clouds: The towering dark clouds in the sky look like thunderstorm clouds called cumulonimbus.
  • Title: Evening on the Volga
  • Artist: Issac Levitan (1860-1900) Russian landscape painter
  • Clouds: There are large stratocumulus clouds above the calm river.
  • Title: After the Rain The Lake of Terni
  • Artist: Issac Levitan (1860-1900) Russian landscape painter
  • Clouds: After rain has ended, broken pieces of low cloud called scud are left in the sky. Behind the scud are altocumulus clouds.
  • Title: Cloud Shadows
  • Artist: Winslow Homer (1836-1910) American painter and illustrator
  • Clouds: Stratocumulus clouds. Do you see the cloud shadows?
  • Title: Flower Beds in Holland
  • Artist: Vincent van Gogh, nineteenth century Dutch painter
  • Clouds: Stratocumulus clouds look elongate like stratus, but are puffy like cumulus.
  • Title: Wheat Field with Cypress Trees
  • Artist: Vincent van Gogh, nineteenth century Dutch painter
  • Clouds: What types of clouds did van Gogh see in the sky when he captured this scene? It is difficult to tell!
  • Title: Altocumulus
  • Artist: Graeme Stephens, contemporary artist and atmospheric scientist at Colorado State University
  • Clouds: Altocumulus clouds of course!

Try the Clouds in Art Interactive to compare cloud types with cloud paintings!

Clouds in Art Main Page

Last modified October 15, 2007 by Lisa Gardiner.

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Cumulus

Cumulus (weather symbol - Cu) clouds belong to the Clouds with Vertical Growth group. They are puffy white or light gray clouds that look like floating cotton balls. Cumulus clouds have sharp outlines...more

Altocumulus

Altocumulus clouds (weather symbol - Ac), are made primarily of liquid water and have a thickness of 1 km. They are part of the Middle Cloud group (2000-7000m up). They are grayish-white with one part...more

Altostratus

Altostratus clouds (weather symbol - As) consist of water and some ice crystals. They belong to the Middle Cloud group (2000-7000m up). An altostratus cloud usually covers the whole sky and has a gray...more

Cumulonimbus

Cumulonimbus (weather symbol - Cb) clouds belong to the Clouds with Vertical Growth group. They are generally known as thunderstorm clouds. A cumulonimbus cloud can grow to such heights that it actually...more

Cirrus

Cirrus (weather symbol - Ci) clouds are the most common of the High Cloud (5000-13000m) group. They are composed entirely of ice and consist of long, thin, wispy streamers. They are commonly known as...more

Stratocumulus

Stratocumulus (weather symbol - Sc) clouds consist of water droplets and belong to the Low Cloud (surface-2000m) group. These clouds are low, lumpy, and gray. These clouds can look like cells under a microscope...more

Stratus

Stratus (weather symbol - St) clouds consist of water droplets and belong to the Low Cloud (surface-2000m up) group. They are uniform gray in color and can cover most or all of the sky. Stratus clouds...more

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