ISSUE 10, July 2004
John Pine: A sociable craftsman
Jumping for Joy: Skydiving for charity
Quarterly Communication: Speeches of: the Grand Master, the Pro Grand Master and, Report of the Board of General Purposes
Supreme Grand Chapter: Address of the First Grand Principal and Report of the Committee of General Purposes
Royal Arch: Cheshire gives a lead
  Walking with the greats: Bath Masonic Hall
Motoring in style: Classic Vehicle Club
Masonic education: A daily advancement and Events for your diary
Travel: Portugal
Library & Museum of Freemasonry
International: A warm welcome in Malta
Masonic ritual: Spoilt for choice
Public relations: Sheffield; Dorset; Chelsea Flower Show; Freemasons' Hall
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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Featured Masons

The Duke of Wellington
Neal Arden
Elias Ashmole
Richard Eve
John Pine
Cyril Spackman

Although Pine’s career prospered, these early works do not show any great artistic accomplishment. The portrait of Crusoe owes its importance to its popularity rather than any artistic merit. Some of the plates drawn and engraved by Pine at this time, such as his illustrations for Edward Ward’s Nuptial Dialogues, are clumsy in design and execution.
     Pine’s skill as an artist began to grow under the influence of the foreign artists he met in Slaughter’s Coffee House and elsewhere. In 1720, he produced illustrations for a poem by Joseph Mitchell on the biblical subject of Jonah. The illustrations for Jonah show the influence of Bernard Picart (1673- 1733), a French engraver who had been forced to settle in Amsterdam because of his interest in radical philosophical and religious ideas. Pine probably became aware of Picart’s work, because in 1720 Picart illustrated the first French edition of Robinson Crusoe.
     Pine was developing quickly as an artist, but nothing in his earlier output prepares us for the most significant work of his early career, the frontispiece of James Anderson’s 1723 Constitutions of the Free-Masons, the first Book of Constitutions produced under the aegis of the Grand Lodge, established in London six years previously.
     The frontispiece was a prestigious commission. The publisher of the book was John Senex, a leading scientific publisher who produced works by Edmund Halley and the leading popularisers of Newtonian thought, Jean Theophile Desaguliers and Willem s’Gravesande.
     Senex was one of the most accomplished globe and map makers of the time, and also made scientific instruments. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1728 His associate in the publication of the Book of Constitutions, John Hooke, also published scientific books.

Pine was the model for the friar lusting after a joint of beef in the painting by his fellow freemason, William Hogarth, named, after a popular song of the period, O The Roast Beef of Old England or The Gate of Calais.

(above) detail from O The Roast Beef of Old England
Library and Museum of Freemasonry
     Senex probably knew of Pine through his business associate William Taylor, the publisher of Robinson Crusoe, but Pine was not an obvious choice for the job. Many other prestigious artists were also Freemasons, including the most celebrated artist of the time, Sir James Thornhill, as well as Joseph Highmore and Hogarth himself.
     The frontispiece of the Book of Constitutions shows John, 2nd Duke of Montagu, Grand Master from 1721-1722, together with his Deputy and Wardens, handing the Constitutions to his successor, Phillip, Duke of Wharton, Grand Master 1722- 1723, who is also flanked by his Deputy and Wardens. Beneath the figures is the 47th Proposition of Euclid.
     The Grand Officers are framed in a classical setting representing each of the orders of architecture, with the Sun God Apollo in his fiery chariot above. The design and handling of perspective is very striking. Underneath the picture are the words ‘Engraved by John Pine in Aldersgate Street London’, but the sophisticated treatment of the scene suggests it may have been designed by someone else, perhaps Thornhill, who designed an engraving of King Solomon with Hiram Abiff used in various Masonic publications from 1725.