by Bro. Ari Roussimoff
This work was painted in 2006. In the year 2013, the Grand Lodge of New York sponsored a large exhibition of my paintings at Masonic Hall that consisted of both my Masonic and other subjects. This painting was among the featured artworks. At the time, many brothers asked me if it represented the Royal Order of Jesters. Although it does not, I welcome anyone to interpret it’s meanings in whichever way they perceive them. Symbolism is sometimes similar to beauty in that what one sees is usually in the eye of the beholder.
Music is an essential element here. Freemasonry in my view is musical. It is akin to a vast symphonic composition with limitless numbers of beautiful musical notes. The Medieval Court Jester is a person with many sides to him, yet he is fully aware of his purposes in life. The figure of justice may be blind, but she is also voluptuous, as the truths she bears are meant to attract. On the top right is a symbolic Masonic Lodge. Being out in the open and under the big sky, this Lodge represents the universality of the Craft. There are many degrees and rites with people of all sizes and nations who have joined together. In this section I also rendered the likenesses of two famous historic brothers. The dwarf is Charles S. Stratton, protégée of P. T. Barnum and who is better known as the legendary General Tom Thumb. Beside him is the giant John Aasen who was with the Ringling Brothers Circus and appeared in many Hollywood films.
On the bottom left corner is Hiram Abiff with an Acacia twig above him. Among the various other symbolic elements, you also see three heads appearing on the Jester’s sleeve. These same three heads reappear inside the right eye socket of the skull, just as musical notes consistently reappear in one big musical composition.