Wednesday, February 08, 2012

The Wizard of Solothurn

A strange scene with the caption, Solothurner: Pfaffen-Jagd!  (Library of Congress, 1847).  Clearly some kind of religious strife, or mockery. Solothurn is a canton in Switzerland, mostly German speaking and then mostly Catholic. How about Pfaffen-Jagd?  Literally, "parson hunt!"

Here's a closeup. A parson-priest-pope, Wizard or Mr. Death directs cannon fire to the right. Demons from Hell, Banshees or flying monkeys seem to be either harrassing the fleeing column of parsons, or driving them on. What the Hell, what the Heck?

Here, a Demon seems to have latched on to one of the parsons, while to the far right, a non-religious (or Protestant) blasts air at the rear of the column using bellows; above, a bomb bursts in air. A village seems to float off to the upper right. 

An artifact of the Sonderbund War of 1847.  Yes, the Swiss, too, were then fighting each other over canton and region vs. national power, the place of religion at all levels, conservativism vs. liberalism, and all the rest.  The Liberals and Radicals won and in 1848, the Jesuit Order was forced into exile from all of Switzerland -- until the 1970s.

Today's Rune: Partnership.  

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

Seems like perhaps some ancient form of hallucinogenic was imbibed to inspire these images.