My dad went to the Science Museum archive in Wroughton (there has to be something there) recently and found a volcano book. It was a book of drawings that an posh old Brit did of Vesuvius, people who actually know something about volcanoes won't be surprised that it's Sir William Hamilton. He's also the subject of the book The Volcano Lover by Susan Sontag which I won't go on about cos I've done it before but if you're every looking for a book that combines volcanoes with art and feminism (who isn't?) then it's for you. Anyway Wills, as I will refer to the Chevalier Hamilton from this point forth, was obsessed with volcanoes in a way I can relate to. His obsession was not scientific and purely artistic before volcanoes he was obsessed with loads of other art forms (vases were one I think), he was also very into ownership, he wanted to own everything connected with Vesuvius, sadly this is where his dodgy views about women come in too. He did loads and loads of studies of Vesuvius and here are some of them complete with Wills' descriptions, I've copied his text so that why some of the spelling looks odd (apart from the bits I've just got wrong).
Lava, Scoriae, and Pumice Stones &c of Mount Vesuvius
4. Ball of Lava. Such rounds balls (some of an enormous size) are frequently met with amidst the scoriae of the modern lavas of Vesuvius. They are formed at the time of the lava rolling downs the flanks of the volcano.
7. Lava in a more perfect vitrified state
The black on the plain (2) is a stream of lava, that ran from the little mountain (1). The prodigious quantity of Volcanick matter, that was thrown up during the eruption of 1767, entirely filled the plain between the little mountain (1) and the old crater (3), so that the mouth of the little mountain is the present crater of Vesuvius, in which an other little mountain is already formed.
When the Volcano threatens an eruption, it is not adviseable to go into the Crater, as an sudden explosion often occasions great Cracks, or Chasms in the platform; and there is likewise danger from the sudden emission of stones, and sulphureous smoke.
1. The Mountains of Somma, and Vesuvius
View of the first discovery of the Temple of Isis at Pompeii, which City was buried by showers of pumice stones and other volcanick matter.
There are loads more but here is a just a selection and the descriptions are all very long. I really like the rocks painted as still life. I think the range of pictures shows his obsession well as the paintings really aren't great but he still kept on doing them. Studying volcanoes was clearly the interesting part for him or just swanning about in Naples pretending to be an artist.