Eruption of Mount Vesuvius

    Date
    1779
    Creator
    Pietro Fabris (1738, Italian) , Painter
    Object type
    Library reference
    42889
    Material
    Dimensions
    height (plate): 385mm
    width (plate): 210mm
    height (paper): 452mm
    width (paper): 320mm
    Subject
    Content object
    nature
       > volcano
    Description
    The eruption of Vesuvius on the morning of 9 August 1779 and the ‘magnificent column of smoke, which attended that eruption’ [quotation taken from Hamilton’s plate references]. Four figures look onto the scene from Posillipo, a residential quarter offering views of the Gulf of Naples.

    Plate three from the Supplement to Sir William Hamilton's Campi Phlegraei, 'Fields of Flame'.

    William Hamilton (1730-1803) British diplomat, archaeologist and volcanologist was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1766 on the merit of his volcanic observations. He received the Copley Medal in 1770 for his 'Account of a Journey to Mount Etna'.

    Pietro Fabris (1740-1792) was a British artist who accompanied Hamilton around Mount Etna, Mount Vesuvius, and Lipari islands to document volcanic activities.
    Object history
    The original edition of ‘Campi Phlegraei; observations on the volcanos of the two Sicilies’ was published in 1776. This Supplement was published in 1779. It is composed of observations of the 1779 eruption sent to the then President of the Royal Society, Sir Joseph Banks (1743-1820). Hamilton's observations are recorded via letters and these hand-coloured plates.
    Related fellows
    William Hamilton (1731 - 1803, British) , Diplomat
    Associated place
    <The World>
       > Europe
          > Italy
    Credit
    ©The Royal Society
    Image number
    RS.14111
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