Since 2022, you have been able to visit the virtual exhibition Paper eruptions. Four centuries of printing on volcanoes. The printed catalogue of the exhibition edited by Elisabetta Scirocco, Philine Helas, Golo Maurer, Domenico Cecere, Hanna Sophie Stegemann and Milena Viceconte is now also available.

This publication is the result of a close collaboration between two research groups—one belonging to the Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max Planck Institute for Art History, the other related to the DisComPoSE project—who have collected a corpus of rare documents to represent the historical, political, social, literary and artistic impact of the volcanic phenomena of the Neapolitan area.

The students of the 2023 edition of the professional Master’s programme in Publishing of the University of Verona contributed to the realization of the graphic design project.

The book focuses on the secular relationship with volcanoes, especially Vesuvius, in very different contexts, ranging from the chronicles of eruptions to scientific investigations, from the historical classification of eruptive events to the creation of myths, to tourism. The catalogue contains selected pages of universal stories, guides for travellers, reports of eruptions, poetic collections, histories of Vesuvius, and geographical proto-scientific treatises and travel albums.

Through different forms of representation, concise or detailed, which oscillate between the accurate recording of events and the dramatization of the catastrophe, and which are expressed in texts and diagrams, the researchers have tried to capture a natural phenomenon that has always aroused fascination and horror and that continues to do so today, insofar as some volcanoes of the Neapolitan-Phlegraean area are still active and could erupt again.

In addition to the analytical contributions collected in the catalogue, four essays address the following themes: the approach of contemporary codicology to ancient books, the power of images of volcanoes and their eruptions, the ways in which catastrophes have been integrated into (miraculous) larger narratives, and the ways in which eruptions, as spectacular events, have gradually fuelled scientific discoveries.


Download the book

Go to the fully digitized copies of this catalogue


This post is also available in: Italian Spanish

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *