by Bro. Ari Roussimoff

Painted Knights Templar Apron
This painting is titled “Eclipse” and hails from 2008. It is the middle piece of my three-painting Masonic triptych “Parable of Light and Dark”. On the left side is “Foundations” and on the Right is “Rebirth”. All three together tell one evolving and comprehensive story. In “Foundations” we see the growth of Freemasonry through time. From its legendary beginnings the composition proceeds upwards to the Medieval era with its chivalry and cathedrals.

Image: “Eclipse”, by Bro. Ari Roussimoff

At the top are prominent Masonic figures of literature, music and philosophy; Mozart, Pushkin, Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde, Voltaire. The middle painting in this group is “Eclipse” (described below). The last painting is “Rebirth” where the ruins are left behind and building finally resumes without interruption. Hiram Abiff and King Solomon appear in all three paintings. The entire triptych “Parable of Light and Dark” was prominently exhibited for eight years at the Chancellor Robert R. Livingston Masonic Library & Museum of the Grand Lodge of Free & Accepted Masons of New York.
Please note that I seldom explain any symbolic meanings in my work. But in the case of this painting I find it helpful to viewers. Eclipse is about individuals who search for light even under the most unfortunate circumstances. They take a unique journey within themselves, a journey that will eventually benefit all humankind.
Overseeing all is the All Seeing Eye of God, Creator of the universe who is the final and ultimate judge of everyone and everything. Troubles lurk below. Time may be running out. Attempts at escape can be futile. Destruction, deformity and death are a result of mindlessness, immorality and idolatry. There are tears and mourning amidst chaos and pandemonium as the earth in revenge, swallows up its inhabitants. But some never learn. Mobs of hysterical fanatics follow false Idols in the form of sweet talking demagogues who enrich themselves by promising empathy, reward, power and glory. The obliteration of history, beauty, compassion and righteousness becomes the result. Whatever is beautiful and constructive they destroy.
Yet amidst the mayhem is Melchizedek from the Book of Genesis. He has two sets of eyes. One pair belongs to the heart and soul. The other pair belongs to the mind. All four together constitute spirituality and wisdom. Melchizedek is of the centuries. He blesses the righteous. Facing in the direction of the light is the Master of a lodge. Beside him are men and women who convey hope, love, beauty, spirituality, art and philosophy. The tattooed man is prepared to do labour. A group of newly made Brothers envision a brighter future ahead while a sympathetic Jester accompanies their vision by playing a warm Masonic melody on his violin. Standing in the light and beside the altar with the Holy Bible on it are King Solomon and Hiram Abiff.

Written by Bro. Ari Roussimoff
Consolidated Lodge #31 F. & A.M.
Manhattan, New York

Bro Ari Roussimoff