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This post is a placeholder for REFERENCES and LINKS for a student research poster to be presented at the North Carolina Geographical Society annual meeting in Greensboro, NC on November 1, 2019. See these PDF files to download all weblinks:
ABSTRACT: Lightning is a short-lived, but powerful part of nature. Although lightning photographs are often published, lightning flashes have seldom been painted by landscape artists. Colorful skies are common in art history, but painted lightning is rare. Most lightning storms in western landscape art have depicted the flashes as either white, or yellowish. An interesting part of art history is the red lightning bolts depicted in the classic paintings of Japan’s Edo Period (1603 – 1868). Edo’s Ukiyo-e artists almost always depicted lightning as red in color. Furthermore, the bolts are often painted in a nearly abstract, linear fashion, and not in lightning’s true dendritic shape. Is the red lightning of this famous period “artistic license”, or can the deep red colors be explained as something else? Are there some logical reasons why these artists painted lightning as red? Could the style reflect mythology rather than realism? Importantly, are there atmospheric science lessons to be learned, and teaching moments to be made in this discussion? The purpose of this educational project is to advance that dialog.
For more Japan weather deities artwork, please see the presentation linked here.