This engraved view of Lough Neagh – the largest fresh water lake in Ireland – is based on artwork by Letitia Bushe (d. 1757). The plate appears as the frontispiece to Richard Barton’s (1706–1759) Lectures in Natural Philosophy (1751), a treatise on the phenomena of petrification and crystallisation associated with the lake.
At the end of his preliminary ‘Address to his countrymen’ Barton praises Bushe’s artistry and accuracy with the following note:
The frontispiece of this book was painted by a very ingenious lady, almost from a verbal description, and yet her pencil has come so near nature, that had she drawn from it, would it be vain to have expected, that she could have excelled it? (p. xvi)