1.09 Macrino 1693

Giuseppe Macrino, De Vesuvio, Naples 1693

Be 4015-2930 raro II

Written in Latin, the work collects documentation from antiquity to 1660, describing the shape of Vesuvius and its mutation through eruptions, its vegetation and fauna, the consequences for the population, as well as phenomena such as the transformation of volcanic ash into glass (“granatiello”, p. 44). He refers several times to Thomas Cornelius, the physician, mathematician and philosopher, to whom he addressed, among other things, his first letter (p. 123) and a funeral oration (p. 143) in the ‘Poemata’ published in Part II. A later owner pasted a printed depiction of a nocturnal eruption of Vesuvius on the front cover of the book, dated 12 August 1805. In a simplified way, this view copies the illustration in Della Torre, Raccolta di tutte le vedute, 1805, Tav XXII. This, in turn, borrows from older representations, such as the one published in D’Onofrio (Dresden 1795), showing the view of the distant Vesuvius across the water with the fortified architecture off the shore of Naples visible on the left. The night fisherman already appears in a depiction of the 1779 eruption (Della Torre, Raccolta di tutte le vedute, 1805, Tav XIV). The combination of book and image shows the long lasting relevance of the writings on Vesuvius as well as the tradition of illustrations or motifs established with regard to the depiction of eruptions. [PH]

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