After Emanuel Leutze. [George Washington as a Master Mason].
New York: B. A. & A. S. Wadhans, ca. 1870. 22 3/4 x 16 1/2. Chromolithograph. Margins trimmed to image with print mounted to original heavy backing board. Three equally spaced nail holes in the top and bottom of the image. Bottom left corner bent with wear on print edges. Second state. Otherwise, fine condition. In antique faux painted period frame.
Originally painted in 1856 by the German American artist Emanuel Leutze (1816-1868) this print portrays America’s first president presiding over a lodge meeting. Washington is adorned with and is surrounded by a number of Masonic symbols. The apron of white that Washington is wearing signifies a badge of innocence and purity. Above Washington is an arch which represents the “Arch of Heaven.” The radiant letter G above and behind his head represents Geometry or God. The steps Washington is standing on indicate the levels of Masonic education and the stages of one’s life from youth to manhood and old age. The small rough stone at his feet represent mans imperfect nature. The level symbolizes equality, while the plumb rule stands for uprightness and the square for virtue. On the column rests a gavel which is a symbol of executive order.