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Compasses in art

Ascribed to Guercino, this sketch incorporates the compasses as well as themes in Masonic ritual.
Italian painter and draughtsmen, Barbieri Giovanni Fransesco (called Il Guercino), was born in Cento on February 2, 1591(?), and died in Bologna on December 2, 1666(?).
Earlier use of compasses as a symbol for the act of creation can be found in medieval manuscripts and early Bibles. Also note Albrecht Dürer’s Melencolia, and Astronomer. Further information regarding Guercino and this sketch can be found in Ars Quatuor Coronatorum vol. 103 (1990). The drawing, in the possession of the Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland, Edinburgh, is available for viewing.

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