4.02 Monti ignivomi 1779

Dei vulcani o monti ignivomi più noti, e distintamente del Vesuvio, osservazioni fisiche e notizie istoriche di uomini insigni di vari tempi, raccolte con diligenza, 2 vols., Livorno 1779

Zh 572-3790/1 raro III; Zh 572-3790/2 raro III

This is a small-format two-volume edition of writings by various authors whose editors are presented as an anonymous collective, and who can be assumed to have been a circle of scholars from Livorno. The publication is dedicated to John Udny, who was British consul first in Venice and then from 1777-1800 in Livorno, and who is praised as a patron of the sciences and lover of painting. The collected texts, letters and short tracts or extracts, are largely devoted to Vesuvius. They range from a letter by Pliny the Younger to a description of the last eruption in August 1779. These include, for example, the catalogue of a collection of materials, and also two texts translated from English. The book includes a folded plate showing Vesuvius from the Royal Palace, signed ‘Fambrini fecit’. This is probably by the engraver Ferdinando Fambrini, who worked in Lucca and Livorno from 1764-93 and engraved, among other things, views of Pisa and Livorno. The perspective of Vesuvius is a faithful copy of the plate found in Serao, Istoria dell’incendio del Vesuvio, 1740 with Latin legend, which was published in the French edition, Histoire du Mont Vésuve, 1741, in a much simplified form without the legend. The illustration thus shows the state of Vesuvius during or after the 1737 eruption; this is not clear in the present publication, where it is added after the description of the 1779 eruption. [PH]

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