Pompei reportage fotografico del 1867
The ruins of Pompeii: a series of eighteen photographic views with an account of the destruction of the city, and a description of the most interesting remains
Dyer Thomas Henry
Photograph which we have mserted by way of frontispiece to this vohime, although embracmg some of the more recent excavations, does not offer any very striking or remarkable object; but it will convey a good idea of the general appearance of Pompeii. One of its chief characteristics is the numerous isolated pillars, arranged in quadrangular form, which once supported the roof of an atrium or a peristyle that has now vanished, though its side walls are still erect. These walls are sometimes entii'ely bare of stucco, and display, like those in the foregroimd of the photograph, the rude materials of which they are constructed; while others, like those in the middle distance, not only retain their coating of stucco, but also the designs and ornaments with which it was painted. When these are more valuable than usual they are protected from the weather by a sort of eaves, or short projecting roof, being buUt over them. The distance, with the modern farm-house and stone-pines, shows parts that have not yet been excavated ; for those ruins that now appear so cleanly emptied were once filled with a cineritious soil, and above them were fields, and crops, and trees, and habitations. The natm'e of the material with which . they were filled has not only served to preserve them, but has also rendered the excavation of them a comparatively easy task. It is an interesting sight to watch the clearing of one of these houses. As the pickaxe and shovel loosen with facility the light dry pumice from the surface of the walls, the pictures with which they are adorned reveal themselves to vis m colours almost as brilliant as when they were first laid on.