The spectacle of Mount Vesuvius in various states of eruption was a popular motif in art destined for the tourist or the collector of topographical imagery.The Brighton album is unusual for the sheer number of images cut down from original paper and stuck together. They tap into the familiar interest with the plumes of smoke and the flow of the lava, reflected in more peaceful views of the Gulf of Naples and harbour.


Indicative of this popular interest is Sir William Hamilton's "An account of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, in 1767." Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 1768, 58: 1-14.