'Pompeii The Villa of Marcus Arius Diomedes', 1847.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A daguerreotype view of a ruined villa in Pompeii, Italy. This daguerreotype, made in 1852, is a copy of a salt print made from a calotype negative taken by Reverend George Bridges in 1847. This villa was thought to have belonged to a Marcus Arius Diomedes, simply because his name appears on a tomb found nearby. The ruins of Pompeii were a popular destination on the Grand Tour. A prosperous Roman city on the Bay of Naples, Pompeii was destroyed by an eruption of nearby Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Preserved beneath volcanic ash the city was rediscovered in 1748. Between 1846 and 1852 Bridges travelled to Italy, Malta, Sicily, Greece, Egypt and the Holy Land, taking nearly 2,000 photographs.