photograph: south coast cloud formation

Cloud formation over the Capture of Louisbourg, 1745

photograph: cloud formation 60° N

Sky & Water       Water & Sky


Cloud studies by John Constable, 1816, left, and 1824, right.

A book by Richard Hamblyn, The Invention of Clouds, was published in 2001. It recounts how an amateur meteorologist, Luke Howard, 1772-1864, "forged the language of the skies". The language of the skies was spoken well before Constable and Howard, however. There follow a few more cloudy comments.

George Vertue wrote, in 1749: Mr Peter Monamy ..... by constant practice he distinguisht himself ..... besides his neatness and clean pencilling of sky and water by many was much esteemd ..... he livd some years latter part of his life at Westminster near the River side, for the Conveniency in some measure of viewing the Water & Sky. tho' he made many excursions towards the Coasts and seaports of England to improve himself from Nature .....


photograph: south coast cloud formation

Colonel M.H.Grant wrote, in 1926: ...... like his models the Van de Veldes, like Brooking, Callcott, Stanfield, and all other artistic longshoremen, whose study of the sea has been conducted from the beach, he seemed never to be able to escape from the sickly hues and uninspiring forms of shallow water.

The Oxford History of English Art, 1714-1800, wrote in 1976: ..... he was a longshoreman, and the category remained in the hands of the longshoremen until the era of the expeditionary painters headed by William Hodges.


photograph: south coast cloud formation


In his best calms Monamy pays particular attention to the cloud formations. See here.

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© Charles Harrison Wallace 2004
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