The Atrio di Cavallo valley, Kingdom of Naples, c 1770.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Detail of hand-coloured etching by Peter Fabris (active 1768-1779) and taken from William Hamilton's study of Italian volcanoes, 'Campi Phlegraei' (published in Naples, 1776). Image shows a group of people observing Mount Vesuvius from the Atrio di Cavallo valley between Somma and Vesuvius. Based on letters to the Royal Society in London, Hamilton's book is a seminal work on the nature and effects of volcanic explosions and illustrates his claim that volcanoes are creative rather than destructive natural forces.