Cloud Art

From abstract and surrealist to black and white photography, our curators's selection of art featuring clouds in the LUMAS portfolio can bring lovely accents into your room. Explore our collection, and find the right cloud artwork for your home design concept today!

The Cloudscape

Clouds in art have a rich and varied history. Renaissance painters like Titian, Raphael, and Giorgioni depicted clouds as a symbolic breaking-through point of God from the heavens; and in bright and solid, or thick and miasmic appearances providing the backdrop to divine and mythological drama. Painting "sotto in su" - seen from below - encompassed legendary skyscapes (or heavenscapes) on ceiling murals.

In the nineteenth century, the simple classification of clouds by British meteorologist Like Howard provided a spur to an ascendant interest in the context of Romanticism and landscape painting. In Britain, John Constable and Joseph Turner created breathtaking cloudscapes, in Turner's case, often nested within his paintings of roaring seascapes.

In modernist art, clouds have been a focal point for meditations on artistic perception in visual art, and the artistic self. Impressionists like Pissarot and Monet composed clouds which accentuated the difference, as they saw it, between plain naturalistic perception and reality from the shores of conventional painting. Whirling, layered cloudscapes make up the backdrops to many of Van Gogh's famous expressionist works. For surrealists like Magritte and Dalí, clouds were a prototypical symbol from the unconscious. They were typically presented against light blue skys, appearing unsettlingly picturesque.

Today, the cloud continues to have a powerful symbolism. As in the word cloud, it stands, in network terms, for the diffuse and the distributed, which nevertheless is a container, saturated with data and whole within itself.

Decorating with Clouds

While clouds are usually taken to signal optimism and a positive atmosphere, in reality, their capacity to convey that specific mood depends heavily on the motif. William Blake wrote of "hungry clouds" which "swag on the deep", describing clouds as part of a fiery hellscape, rather than the imagery of a bright sky breaking through over a still sea.

Clouds may bring a surreal effect into a room, as a kind of ideal background for objects or scenes quite out of place, floating in the sky. Such works should be seen not as mood-setters on their own, but as pictorial artworks with a great deal of independence, requiring thought and staging in appropriate spaces. Artworks featuring clouds which are closer to an impressionist style, highlighting atmospheric effects, are better-suited to set moods and accents in a room.

As part of a home decor concept, art featuring clouds is not limited to a given room or interior space. That being said, clouds may point to effects on a viewer which are not strictly evident in the aesthetic effects of a given artwork: it may convey a sense of hopefulness without being very bright, or, in more conceptual works, introduce the familiar symbolism of clouds - daybreak, calm and slow transition - in ways that are more difficult for a viewer to instantly parse, and which invite and require contemplation. For these reasons, cloud art in the bedroom, a room meant to be a haven of calm, is something which requires a fair amount of thought before diving in.

Black and white photographic seascapes or landscapes with clouds, such as those by Helmut Schlaiss or Wolfgang Uhlig, instantly introduce a vintage accent, recalling classic beach culture or romantic touring through the Italian countryside. These works are recommended as stunning and effective accent-setters in any room of the home.

Explore Art In All Its Dimensions

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