Over the centuries, many artists have been inspired by the surrounding landscape and turned them into vital works that have stood the test of time. From realistic scenes to abstract works, these paintings offer a glimpse into the thoughts of their creators and at the same time serve as unusual documentation of a specific place and time.
For historians and scientists, this can lead to a fascinating collection of data. It has led to scientific looks the role of weather in Vincent van Gogh’s paintings, for example – and that’s just the tip of the metaphorical iceberg. The newest place where art history intersects meteorological history is coming over The Washington Postwhere the writer Philip Kennicott met Capital weather gearby Matthew Cappucci to look at a number of paintings.
Kennicott described the goal here of “seeing the weather as both a scientific and an artistic presence in great paintings and photographs”. And her overview of the art includes everything from a cloud scene by Georgia O’Keefe to a picture of Mount Fuji by Katsushika Hokusai.
Cappucci’s findings make for a fascinating read. These include the fact that O’Keefe’s painting offers a glimpse into the phenomenon of the streets of clouds, which he writes âare often associated with snow showers, but it is the same mechanism that creates large amounts of lake-like snow. âAnd he points out that heaven is in John Constables Salisbury Cathedral from Lower Marsh Close suggests that “[t]here was probably morning mist near the surface, which has since burned down. “
All in all, it’s an insightful look at a variety of paintings – and an exploration of how the weather can lead to some indelible images.
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