An eruption of Mount Vesuvius as seen from Posillipo, Kingdom of Naples, 9 August 1779.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Hand-coloured etching by Peter Fabris (active 1768-1779) after his own drawing. One of five illustrated plates from the 1779 supplement to William Hamilton's (1730-1803) study of Italian volcanoes, 'Campi Phlegraei' (published in Naples, 1776). Based on letters to the Royal Society in London, 'Campi Phlegraei' was a more precise study of volcanoes than had previously existed, illustrating Hamilton's claim that volcanoes are creative rather than destructive natural forces.