In this detail of Calvert Richard Jones 1846 calotype, "The House of Sallust", in which the grainy sepia patinas of the photograph perhaps suggest that the swirling volcanic ashes that buried Pompeii so many years ago have still not quite yet come to rest, a languidly frock-coated English gentleman leans somnambulantly against a slice of excavated masonry, as if waiting for night to fall and the haphazard contents of a painting by De Chirico to materialize around him with all hazy, sudden velocity of dream logic. Yet here we only see, fixed in time by photographic paper, the atrium at the front of the house leading to the columned garden court beyond, and then Vesuvius itself, pale and almost indistinct, looming ominously in the background ...




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