4.09 Auldjo 1832

Jean Auldjo, Vues du Vésuve avec un précis des ses eruptions principales, Naples 1832

Be 4015-4320 raro III

The explorer John Auldjo (1806-1886), born in Montreal to a Scottish family of Italian origin, achieved fame after participating in the ascent of Mont Blanc, recounted in his Narrative of an Ascent to the Summit of Mont Blanc (London, 1828). After moving to Naples, he began systematically to explore Vesuvius in 1831. The volume on display is the French version of Sketches of Vesuvius, with short account of its principal eruptions (Naples, 1932 ). The aim of the work was to offer a summary of the vast subject of Vesuvius for visitors to the volcano, with a historical and topographical introduction and an account of the main eruptions since the beginning of the Christian era. The text is richly illustrated, with several views of the volcano and close-up details of the lava flows produced by the eruptions. Of the 17 illustrations accompanying the text, many are lithographs taken from drawings by the author himself, made on site using a perspective device. The sense of a real-life shot is emphasised by the presence of a number of spectators who, unlike in the past, included not only onlookers and visitors but also many scientists who were working on the volcano. Within the volume, one striking and dynamic image stands out: a map of Vesuvius with the lava flows of the 27 eruptions recorded between 1631 and 1831, each indicated by a different colour. [ES]

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