Rural landscape and cloud study by Luke Howard, c 1808-1811.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Watercolour sketch by Edward Kennion, with cloud studies by Luke Howard. This plate shows 'cumulostratus forming; fine weather cirri above.' Ordering and classification were important features of Enlightenment science. Fascinated since childhood by the weather, and clouds in particular, Luke Howard classified and named different cloud types between 1803 and 1811, providing sketches for these later illustrations. His work has influenced many of the landscape painters of the Romantic era, including Turner and Constable. Although he was a pharmacist, his contribution to the developing science of meteorology led to Howard being made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1821. His terminology and symbols are still largely used to describe clouds today.