image hamilton,w_campi_phlegraei_1776_0040
Image number: RS.17575
Credit: ©The Royal Society

Crater

Date

1776

Creator

Pietro Fabris (b.1738, Italian), Painter

Object type

Library reference

42888

Material

Technique

Dimensions

height (plate): 210 mm
width (print): 385mm
height (page): 320mm
width (page): 452mm

Subject

Content object

nature
   > volcano

Description

Interior view of the Crater of Mount Vesuvius, depicting numerous channels of lava and thick clouds of smoke. This plate is a copy of an original drawing made in the year 1756. It was intended to give an idea of the changes that the crater of the volcano was subject to over the years between 1756 and 1776.

Plate 10 from Campi Phlegraei: observations on the volcanos of the two Sicilies by William Hamilton. The plate is inscribed ‘X’ in the top left corner.

Written in the associated description: 'When the Volcano threatens an eruption, it is not adviseable to go into the Crater, as a sudden explosion often occasions great Cracks, or Chasms in the platform; and there is likewise danger from the sudden emission of stones, and sulphurious smoke.'

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

This book of hand-coloured plates represents part II of Campi Phlegraei. It complements part I, which consists of letters only. Both were presented to the then President of the Royal Society, Sir John Pringle (1707-1782).

Associated place

<The World>
   > Europe
      > Italy