Eye of God (Eye of Providence)
The Eye of God, also known as the Eye of Providence, is an equilateral triangle with a single eye inside it, usually with rays emanating from it.
It symbolizes the omnipresence and omniscience of God, who watches over all things. It is also associated with the Trinity (which the triangle symbolizes in itself).
Historically, representations of an eye tended to be avoided because of the association with the Evil Eye (a widespread and ancient European superstition).
No medieval example of the Eye of God has yet been found. A rare Renaissance example of it appears above Christ's head in the Supper of Emmaus painted for the Carthusians in 1525.
The symbol has been connected with Masonic ritual, probably because medieval masons' guilds were dedicated to the Holy Trinity.
In the 18th and 19th centuries the Eye of Providence was used in Courts of Justice to remind judges of their responsibilities. The Eye of God appeared above the altar of the St. Aloysius church in London, which was built by French Catholics in 1808 but destroyed in World War II.
"The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous." - Psalms 34:15
"The eyes of the Lord are in every place." - Proverbs 15:3
- “Eye of God.” Murray, Peter; Murray, Linda; Devonshire Jones, Tom, The Oxford Dictionary of Christian Art and Architecture (Oxford University Press).
- “Eye of Providence.” Wikipedia.