Mount Vesuvius erupting, Kingdom of Naples, winter 1767.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Hand-coloured etching by Peter Fabris (active 1768-1779), after his own drawing. Illustrated plate from William Hamilton's study of Italian volcanoes, 'Campi Phlegraei' (published in Naples, 1776). Image represents an eruption of lava from the crater of Vesuvius, showing the unusual event of the cone of Vesuvius covered in snow. Based on letters to the Royal Society, Hamilton's book was a more precise study of volcanoes than had previously existed, illustrating his claim that volcanoes are creative natural forces.