Cloud study by Luke Howard, c 1808-1811.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Painting of clouds from the Luke Howard Collection. Ordering and classification were important features of Enlightenment science. Fascinated since childhood by the weather, and clouds in particular, Luke Howard (1772-1864) classified and named different cloud types between 1803 and 1811, providing sketches for these later illustrations. His work is believed to have influenced many of the landscape painters of the Romantic era, including Turner and Constable. Although never trained as a scientist, Howard's contribution to the developing science of meteorology led to him being made a fellow of the Royal Society in 1821. His terminology and symbols are still largely used to describe clouds today.