When Mount Vesuvius blew in 79 A.D. it sent stone, ash, and gases 12 miles into the sky. This horrible geyser was followed by a flow of red-hot matter that instantly ended all life in its path. The unfortunate people of Pompeii were stilled in their last activities, much of which centered around preparations for lunch. “Last Supper in Pompeii” looks at food from that last day—actual carbonized bread, eggs, almonds, and figs—and also food as it was sumptuously portrayed in the myriad frescos and mosaics that Vesuvius preserved. Kitchen utensils, a re-creation of a Roman banquet, the snobbish upsmanship of feasting, all this and more are on view. —L.J.
“Last Supper in Pompeii” travels to the Legion of Honor museum in San Francisco, where it will be on view from April 18 to August 30, 2020.