Mount Vesuvius erupting, Kingdom of Naples, 1760.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Hand-coloured etching by Peter Fabris (active 1768-1779) after his own drawing and taken from from William Hamilton's (1730-1803) study of Italian volcanoes, 'Campi Phlegraei' (published in Naples, 1776). This eruption of Vesuvius began on 23 December 1760 and ended on 5 January 1761. Image shows a large smoking lava flow destroying farmland. Based on letters to the Royal Society in London, Hamilton's book is a seminal work on the nature and effects of volcanic explosions.