Is this Boyle Abbey, Co. Roscommon?

Fore-edge painting from the book “The Poetical Works of Went Dillon” by Wentworth Dillon 4th Earl of Roscommon (1630 - 1685). Published at the Apollo Press by the Martins, Edinburgh - Anno 1780. For comparison, a 17th century image of Dillon after Carlo Maratta 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 being unique and one of a kind. The earliest fore-edge paintings date possibly as far back as the 10th 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 disappearing fore-edge painting (where the painting is not visible 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 in monochrome, and then later in full color. In many cases, the chosen depiction related to the subject of the book, but in other cases it did not. In one instance, the same New Brunswick 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 20th century on reproductions of books originally published in the early 19th century. Artists currently expert in the fore-edge artform include UK-based artist, Martin Frost.

The Poetical Works of Wentworth Dillon, Earl of Roscommon, with the Life of the author. (Bell's Edition of British Poets Complete from Chaucer to Churchill) by Wentworth Dillon. Part of a set of 107 volumes by John Bell covering 48 poets. Not noted for their accuracy and often criticised for their small print. Edinburgh: Apollo Press, 1780, 168 pp, This volume contains Dillon's miscellanies, prologues, translations, and imitations. Wentworth Dillon, 4th Earl of Roscommon (c.1630 1685). English poet, didactic writer and critic, Dillon's reputation rests on his blank verse translation of the Ars Poetica and his Essay on Translated Verse. The publisher was Gilbert Martin of Apollo Press, Edinburgh. He died on 1 March 1784. His obituory was somewhat critical of his social skills but commended him on his profession as a printer. “ .. distained to be fettered by the common rules of art, he ranged into the wide fields of a luxurient fancy, and combined in types such symmetry and elegance as might vie with the powers of the painter’s pencil”. In 1786 the business was known as McDowell and Martin and by 1788 as Martin and MacDowell. Situated at Back Stairs, Parliament Square, Edinburgh the building and stock were completely destroyed in a fire in 1790.

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