After studying a painting that had been hidden from the public eye for over 230 years, author Jerry Brannigan believes that he has discovered a series of Masonic Symbols hidden in plain sight. The portrait depicts famed Scottish poet and lyricist Robert Burns as captured by the talents of artist Alexander Nasmyth, who was a contemporary of Burns. This portrait is believed to be one of four attempts at Robert Burn’s likeness by Nasmyth and is the only privately-owned likeness of Burns that was painted while he lived. The other three portraits are on public display at various prestigious institutions, including The National Portrait Gallery in London.
This long-lost painting was authenticated as a Nasmyth original only 4 years ago when it sold at auction. Jerry Brannigan, who is regarded as an expert in Robert Burn’s history, was contacted by the painting’s owner, who prefers to remain anonymous because he believed he could see the faint indications of a name on the surface of the painting. After two years of scrutiny, Mr. Brannigan has publicly claimed that he has discovered some unusual and interesting features in the painting, which would have otherwise gone unnoticed.
Among the alleged Masonic Symbols, Mr. Brannigan claims to have identified A Blazing Star (or comet), hooded characters, and the the letters M. A. R. A., which the author believes could allude to Burn’s status as a Royal Arch Mason. Robert Burns, who is well known for the poem “Auld Lang Syne” (sang by millions around the world during the New Year celebration), was initiated in Lodge St. David (Tarborton) No. 133 in Ayrshire, Scotland on July 4th, 1781.
The portrait artist, Alexander Nasmyth, was a member of Lodge Canongate Kilwinning No. 2. His artistic career took him to London and Italy, where he studied under celebrated artists of the time, later returning to Edinburgh, where he established himself as a professional portrait artist.
Jerry Brannigan, DailyMail.Co.UK
Source: The Winding Stairs Freemasonry Podcast