|Manu||Date: Saturday, 14-November-2020, 11:42 AM | Message # 1|
|The Eye of Providence: The symbol with a secret meaning?|
By Matthew Wilson
13th November 2020
How has a seemingly straightforward image – an eye set within a triangle – become a lightning rod for conspiracy theorists? Matthew Wilson looks at the history of an ambiguous symbol.
Conspiracy theories thrive on cryptic symbols and covert visual signs. The ‘Eye of Providence’ – an eye set within a triangle – is one such symbol, associated with Freemasonry but also linked with the apocryphal Illuminati, a secret group of elite individuals allegedly seeking to control global affairs.
The Eye of Providence is a lightning rod for conspiracy theorists because it is very much hidden in plain sight: not only does it appear on countless churches and Masonic buildings worldwide, it also features on the reverse of the American one-dollar bill as well as the Great Seal of the United States.
Originally the Eye of Providence was a Christian symbol, and the earliest examples of its use can be found in religious art of the Renaissance period to represent God. An early example is Pontormo’s 1525 Supper at Emmaus, although the symbol itself was painted on later, perhaps in the 1600s.
Another key source of the icon was in a book of emblems called the Iconologia, published first in 1593. In later editions, the Eye of Providence was included as an attribute of the personification of ‘Divine Providence’, ie God’s benevolence. As the name of the symbol and its early usage suggest, it was invented as a sign of God’s compassionate watchfulness over humanity.
Building on the past
Nobody is certain who originally invented it, but whoever did crafted it out of a set of previously existing religious motifs. The triangle was a long-standing symbol of the Christian Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit; sometimes in previous centuries God was even depicted with a triangular halo. The rays of light that are often shown emanating from the symbol are also a pre-existing sign of God’s radiance in Christian iconography. But what are the origins of that eerie disembodied eye? God had been depicted in numerous cryptic ways before, such as by a single hand emerging from a cloud, but not as an eye.
Read more/full article/source - https://www.bbc.com/culture....meaning