Born: Saturday, 01 January 1718
Died: Sunday, 15 August 1790
A renowned sculptor and painter, Agostino Carlini was a Freemason and one of the founders of the Royal Academy in England.
Brother Agostino Carlini was a renowned sculptor, painter, and one of the founders of the Royal Academy in England. Born in 1718 in Genoa, one of the major ports of Italy, very little is known about Agostino’s early years. He developed his artistic talent presumably, and the first record we have of him is working for the court of William of Orange: Ruler of the Netherlands. There Carlini was a court sculptor and painter, and when he eventually moved to London in the 1760s, Agostino had assessed quite a reputation.
By the time he came to London, Agostino Carlini had become a Freemason. Brother Carlini became a member of the Lodge of Nine Muses, No. 325, famed for its focus on the arts. He was one of four members of that Lodge who founded the Royal Academy of Arts, perhaps the most well-renowned institutions for education and creativity in England. He created busts and sculptures of King George III, considered among the most realistic of the time. And for Brother Carlini's contributions to the art and architecture of late 1700’s England, he was recognized with high honors from the King.
Brother Agostino's works were prominently displayed across England and the British Empire. It is very likely that his Masonic connections and education developed his love of beauty which so influenced his life and works. At the time, Masonic Lodges were present all throughout the European Continent, and though we have no definite records of him being a mason before he came to London, it is very likely that he was. Regardless of exactly when he became a Mason, Brother Carlini died on August 15th, 1790, at the age of 72. In his life, Agostino's life was dedicated to the dissemination of Masonic beauty through art - a true testament to the Craft.
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