Mount Vesuvius, Kingdom of Naples, c 1767.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Hand-coloured etching by Peter Fabris (active 1768-1779). Illustrated plate from William Hamilton's study of Italian volcanoes, 'Campi Phlegraei' (published in Naples, 1776). Image shows (1) Mount Vesuvius viewed from the sea shore at Resina, (2) Mount Somma and (3) the lava that ran down the Fosa Grande during the great eruption of Vesuvius in 1767. Based on letters to the Royal Society, the book was a more precise study of volcanoes than had previously existed, illustrating Hamilton's claim that volcanoes are creative natural forces.