The Eye of Providence (or the All Seeing Eye) symbolizes the eye of God watching over humanity. According to Wikipedia, the Eye first became standard iconography of the Freemasons in 1797, with the publication of Thomas Smith Webb's Freemasons Monitor. It is used a reminder that a Mason's thoughts and deeds are always observed by God (who is referred to in Masonry as the Great Architect of the Universe). Typically, the Masonic Eye of Providence has a semi-circular glory below the eye. Sometimes the Eye is enclosed by a triangle.
This vibrant painting on silk was found framed with other Freemason’s or Odd Fellows’ paintings symbolic (including the Heart in Hand that I’m listing today). What is referred to as the “glory” is depicted by semi-circular orange and red rays of light below the Eye. As it often is in Mason depictions, the Eye as it floats among clouds. The painting is in wonderful condition but for a few scattered brown stains. There are a few areas above the eye that are lighter in color but, after examining with a loupe, I do not believe this to be thinning silk because the lighter areas do not follow the grain of the fabric. It is likely that the silk was not tightly stretched when the artist painted it and these are areas where the paint missed the fabric due to wrinkling. It resides in a period cushioned gilt frame that measures 9 ½” x 5 ½”. Circa 1875.
#5858 Sale Pending