image hamilton,w_campi_phlegraei_1776_0048
Image number: RS.17577
Credit: ©The Royal Society

Eruption of Mount Vesuvius




Pietro Fabris (b.1738, Italian), Painter

Object type

Library reference





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


Content object

   > volcano


View of an eruption of Mount Vesuvius that began on 23 December 1760 and ended on 5 January 1761. Monte Sant'Angelo is visible on the left of the lava flow [as viewed]. This plate is based on a drawing by Pietro Fabris from the time of the eruption.

Plate 12 from Campi Phlegraei: observations on the volcanos of the two Sicilies by William Hamilton. The plate is inscribed ‘XII’ in the top left corner.

Written in the associated description: 'The object of this plate is to shew, that those who have asserted, that the seat of the fire is always towards the summit, or not lower than the middle of the Volcano, have been very ill informed.

These New Mountains are at least four miles from the summit of Vesuvius, and almost in the plain.'

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

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