This view of Skellig Michael, or the Great Skellig as it’s also known, illustrates Charles Smith (c. 1715–1762) and Walter Harris’s (1686–1761) co-authored history of County Kerry, Ireland: The antient and present state of the county of Kerry, first published in 1756. The book was the first in depth topographical and antiquarian study of Kerry and, as such, helped to establish the region’s picturesque reputation.

The Skellig Islands – Skellig Michael and Little Skellig – lie a short distance off the Iveragh Peninsula in the Atlantic Ocean. A Christian monastic settlement was built on Skellig Michael in the 6th century, and though monks no longer inhabit the island their extraordinary beehive-shaped buildings survive.