Tracing boards are used by Freemasons in their lodge meetings as visual aids in their ceremonies, and there is usually a tracing board for each of the three ceremonies. This example is painted and gilded on wood, although they can also be painted or drawn on cloth or paper, or made out of stone. The three columns are the classical orders of architecture: Doric, Ionic and Corinthian, which represent the Master, or Ruler, of the lodge and his two deputies, or wardens. The letter and the symbol at the base of the columns represent their attributes and emblems: the Master’s wisdom and set square, the Senior Warden’s strength and level and the Junior Warden’s beauty and plumb rule. Freemasons make symbolic use of stonemasons’ tools in their ceremonies and they are often referred to as ‘working tools’. Although the board is dated 1819, it is one of a set of three that were presented to the Lodge of Honor and Generosity No.165, by one of its members, Harold Franck, in 1934. They are currently on loan to the Library and Museum of Freemasonry.
Where to see this painting?
The Library and Museum of Freemasonry
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More on this painting
on loan from the Lodge of Honor and Generosity No.165