Natural phenomenon, Moscow, Russia, 1812.
3 6 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 28cm

Natural phenomenon, Moscow, Russia, 1812.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


Hand coloured stipple engraving illustrating an unusual collection of atmospheric phenomena caused by moonlight refracted (bent) through ice crystals in high clouds, which appeared in the heavens over Moscow on the evening of 18 November 1812, the day after Napoleon's invading French army withdrew. The engraving states that this phenomenon was witnessed by T. A. Curtis, son of Sir W. Curtis to whom the painting was presented by an 'artist of Moscow' the following day. Published by H Perry of London in 1825.

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