HISTORY OF CLOUDS

What’s the link between Aristotle, Warhol, Money, Magritte, Super Mario, Pink Floyd, Olafur Eliasson and Chinese ceramics? Believe it or not, they have all used clouds. At the moment, the Leopold Museum in Vienna is dedicating an exhibition to them, analyzing how they have evolved as a symbol through time and how they encapsulate opposing emotions, whether as a fluffy white cloud in a blue sky or a rain-soaked gray cloud. Graphic representation of clouds has changed over the centuries, first appearing only timidly in painting, they would soon show up time and time again as a recurring motif.
 

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Ancient Greek philosophers thought that clouds were born in the sea or in water, as if the water was evaporating into the sky and then being emptied during a storm. In the Middle-Ages, under the terms “bare” or “mystical cloud” they represented God and the path to heaven. With Aristotle, Europe finally began to see these natural phenomena in a scientific light, but the depiction of clouds stayed within a religious realm until the 19th century.


We had to wait until the Romantic period for the cloud to take on a poetic and melancholic meaning. Most notably in the Caspar David Friedrich painting "Wanderer above the Sea of Fog" or in Constable’s "Cloud Study". From this time onwards, clouds are associated with fantasy, dreams and with melancholic solitude. An association which will never be forgotten…


Today, through pictograms, clouds of various forms patterns or by the multitude of Instagrams sent every day, every time the sky darkens or is pink tinged with a setting sun, clouds accumulate almost like good luck charms from our childhood, fighting against the gloomy and morose world we are currently living in.


This season, clouds are one of the key themes in our collections. They are featured either as “Dayclouds” or as “Nightclouds”, representing the idealistic or the reigning apprehension respectively.