Is this Boyle Abbey, Co. Roscommon?Fore-edge painting from the book
“The Poetical Works of Went Dillon”
by WentworthDillon 4th Earl of Roscommon (1630 - 1685).
Published at the Apollo Press by the Martins,Edinburgh - Anno 1780
. For comparison, a 17
century image of Dillon after CarloMaratta and a
print of Boyle Abbey by Grose (1790’s).
Books with fore edge paintings are some of the rarest books in the world, each volume beingunique and one of a kind. The earliest fore-edge paintings date possibly as far back as the10th century; these earliest paintings were symbolic designs. Early English fore-edge paintings, believed to date to the 14th century, presented heraldic designs in gold and other colors.The first known example of a
fore-edge painting (where the painting is notvisible when the book is closed) dates from 1649. The earliest signed and dated fore-edge painting dates to 1653: a family coat of arms painted on a 1651 Bible.Around 1750, the subject matter of fore-edge paintings changed from simply decorative or heraldic designs to landscapes, portraits, pornographic, and religious scenes, first inmonochrome, and then later in full color.
In many cases, the chosen depiction related tothe subject of the book
, but in other cases it did not. In one instance, the same NewBrunswick landscape was applied to both a Bible and to a collection of poetry and plays.The majority of extant examples of fore-edge painting date to the late 19th and early 20thcentury on reproductions of books originally published in the early 19th century. Artistscurrently expert in the fore-edge artform include UK-based artist, Martin Frost.