J M W Turner 'Chichester Canal' c.1828
Artists took up their brushes after the eruption of Mt Tambora in 1815 as the high levels of ash in the atmosphere caused spectacular sunsets. The yellow haze was the prime feature in many of Turner's paintings following the eruption.
A similar phenomenon was seen after Krakatoa erupted in 1883. William Ashcroft painted several and made thousands of coloured sketches of the red sunsets around the world after the explosion.
William Ashcroft 'On the Banks of the River Thames' 1883
The pall of darkness inspired poet Lord Byron to write 'Darkness' the year after Tambora. Below is an excerpt from the poem. The writing of this poem also occurred only months after the ending of his marriage.
I had a dream, which was not all a dream.
The bright sun was extinguish'd, and the stars
did wander darkling in the eternal space,
rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth
swung blind and blackening in the moonless air;
Morn came and went - and came, and brought no day,
And men forgot their passions in the dread
of this their desolation; and all hearts
were chill'd into a selfish prayer for light...