Category:Vesuvius eruptions by Joseph Wright of Derby

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English: Joseph Wright toured Italy for the first and only time between 1773 and 1775 but drew on the experience for the rest of his career. In particular his imagination was gripped by the power of Mount Vesuvius, dominating the Bay of Naples and the surrounding area. He stayed in Naples from early October to early November 1774, too early to witness the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 1777, and yet during his lifetime he painted over thirty views of the exploding volcano. It is of course possible that he experienced something close to an eruption while staying in Naples, since, according to Sir William Hamilton, the mountain had for many years 'never been free from smoke, nor ever many months without throwing up red-hot SCORIAE … usually followed by a current of liquid Lava' (quoted in Egerton 1991, p.166).