About this artwork

In the early 1770s Jacob More, who had become the foremost landscape painter in Scotland, moved permanently to Italy and established a studio in Rome. A letter of 1781 from a friend of More, the artist and dealer James Irvine, refers to a painting of Mount Vesuvius as the illustration of fire from a set of pictures representing the four elements. This series was commissioned by Lord Bristol, the Earl-Bishop of Derry, one of More’s most committed patrons and a keen amateur volcanologist. It is uncertain whether this painting was in fact part of that set. More actually witnessed an eruption of Vesuvius in 1779. Here, he reconstructs the eruption of 79ADand the destruction of Pompeii, in the foreground he included the death of Pliny the Elder.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
    Jacob MoreScottish (1740 - 1793)
  • title:
    Mount Vesuvius in Eruption
  • date created:
    Dated 1780
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • measurements:
    151.00 x 201.00 cm (framed: 174.00 x 223.30 x 8.80 cm)
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Presented to the RI by Sir John James Steuart of Allanbank 1829; transferred 1859
  • accession number:
    NG 290
  • gallery:
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve
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Jacob More

Jacob More