1.08 Relazione dell’incendio 1682

Anonymous, Relazione dell’incendio del Vesuvio seguito l’anno 1682 dalli 14 di agosto alli 26 del medemo, Rome 1682

Be 4015-2820 raro IV

This is a brief account of the eruption that began on August 14, 1682, bound together with another report concerning a storm that occurred a few months earlier in the Land of Bari. The first phase of the explosion lasted a couple of days, generating the opening of three lava vents, as well as continuous seismic tremors that were felt as far as Naples. This was followed by a second phase from August 22 to 26. As usual for this type of text, there are references to the flight of the inhabitants from the areas surrounding Vesuvius and a request for divine help to alleviate the disaster (Madonna dell’Arco, San Gennaro and Sant’Antonio da Padova).

Produced in Rome by the printing workshops of Michele Ercole, the Relazione could be purchased in Piazza Madama from Francesco Leone, a well-known dealer of information brochures dedicated to natural calamities. The title page has a unique woodcut vignette alluding to the effects of the eruption. Instead of the usual double smoking cone or a generic disaster setting, a large circular furnace is depicted. As well as being indicated by the ink stroke, the flames emerging from the fire are emphasised by touches of red wash. This coloured addition is also present in the other known copies of this text (British Library and Biblioteca Casanatense). [MV]

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