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Studio: international art — 3.1894

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From Gallery, Studio, and Mart

low as 12,000 feet. Below this again we have
the different kinds of rain-cloud—the cumulo-
nimbus, the nimbus, and the stratus, dull and
grey or heavy and dark, and owing to its
nearness always less bright and less changeful in
colour. Sometimes nimbus is very low indeed,
I have seen it within the last few days halfway
down a hillside whose height is given in the
Ordnance map as 400 feet.

The particles of aqueous vapour from which the
clouds are formed are so much less than a drop of
water as an apple is less than our globe. Yet they
aggregate in such countless numbers as to make
the colossal masses of cloud we see high above
us, heaped and piled one upon the other, and in
comparison to which mountain ranges are but of
trifling size. These congregate in such density as
to form the black thunder-cloud, that, rushing
grandly through banks of lurid light, casts its
sullen shadow over the earth.

The temptation to speak of the generation of
the electricity from which our atmosphere is
scarcely ever free, must at this time be foregone, as
must also its relation to air currents and cloud
masses. It may now be only remembered that
the lightning which flashed with such intense
brilliancy from the dark thunder-cloud was but a
large electric spark; that a change suddenly took
place in the relation of the densely packed particles
of the heavy cloud, which resulted in the simul-
taneous discharge of lightning, thunder, and rain,
that travelled to us at different rates, as light,
sound, and fluid, and reached us one after the other.

Facts of no less exciting interest concerning
the perspective and movement of clouds are to be
gathered from watching the inconstant sky. The
cumulus that surges and billows in the distance
before us presents a very different shape—that of
a flat cloud—when seen from underneath, as it
floats high over our head. Again, as it moves
directly away from us, we might hardly recognise it
as so long a chain as sometimes lies over the
horizon. The successive parallel streaks of cloud
that at one time we may see moving parallel to the
horizon will at another apparently radiate from a
centre on the horizon. Such an effect is but the
result of the simple law of perspective which
governs the apparent converging of lines, parallel
to themselves and to the line of vision, to their
vanishing point at the centre of vision upon the
horizon. The filiated streaks of cirrus which may
occasionally be seen converging across an open
sky are an example of this. And they may now
and again be seen to be composed of transverse

striae at right angles or at an angle oblique to the-
long diameter of the cloud. It is the observation
of these striae, with due regard to the laws of per-
spective, that enables one to determine the direc-
tion in which the cloud is moving. Occasion-
ally these converging stripes of cloud, long and
numerous, will several times split across in the
direction of the stria?, giving that very beautiful
form of cirro-cumulus cloud popularly known as
" mackerel sky." Other forms of cirro-cumulus—
the "dappled skies," the "fleecy clouds," the
" cirrus haze," and the storm clouds popularly
known as " mares' tails," " scud," " wrack " and
"wreaths"—must be left with this recollection of
them. So also must the unbroken veil of almost
monotonous grey that, more often than we would,
hides the splendour of the sunlit sky, but is never-
theless silver-lined, and many a time when the day
is done passes away over the distant hills, leaving
the bright stars to shine in the quiet heaven.

Francis Bate.



Some opinions of an accomplished
A artist — the Principal of one of the
largest and best Art schools in America —
although expressed in a private letter, are so per-
tinent that we may venture to quote them here.
" I was very much interested," says the writer,.
" in the school work at South Kensington. The
designs were admirable. What exquisite feeling,
there was in those two book-covers in fiat relief,
by Lillian Simpson and Florence Steele, of South
Kensington ! All the modelling of South Kensing-
ton was good, the most artistic of all, their work
from Nature. The drawings from the full-length
nude and antique, and the colour work also, seemed
to me deficient in values, and painstaking instead
of artistic ; although that method of study is excel-
lent for the designer. The Clapham School must
have teachers with artistic feeling, arid the Glasgow
work is strong in colour quality in the designs. I
noted wall-papers from Scarborough, Macclesfield,
Glasgow and Bristol, as well as South Kensington,
which were well drawn and composed, and rich in
colour. I found one frame of sketches from the
living model, from Birmingham. They were effec-
tive notes of value and of movement, and though
incorrect in drawing, were a relief from the tight,
over-finished drawings from South Kensington,
where insistence on detail reigns supreme. I must
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