The Vienna Masonic lodge 'Zur gekrönten Hoffnung', c. 1785

Freemasons

1785

Artists and statesmen alike belonged to various lodges which spread the ideas of the Enlightenment in Austria from the 1740s onwards. Franz Stephan of Lorraine was devoted to the ideals of Freemasonry. Its aim was to unite people from all social strata, of different levels of education and of all faiths in the basic ideals of freedom, equality, fraternity, tolerance and humanity. The Freemasonry Patent of Joseph II facilitated state control of the Masons by ordering the amalgamation of lodges.

The Vienna Masonic lodge 'Zur gekrönten Hoffnung', c. 1785