You may forgive the foreigner who thinks of the Swiss as rather, well— neutral, controlled, emotions in check. But here in the wine market which was in this square in Lucerne, one finds the painting of the Last Supper on the wall, with the Swiss German inscription above. You have to remember that Lent precedes Easter, and traditionally people fast during Lent and the celebrate at Easter. And that is precisely what this little ditty is about— about the Burger (i.e. the Mayor) suffering through the fasting, to get to the feasting, and lo and behold, Jesus’ drinking wine with the disciples at the last supper is seen as the permission to start celebrating. Note that it’s not a painting of the Cana wedding feast, but of the last supper, a somber occasion indeed! Notice as well the angels playing a happy tune. The poor burger couldn’t wait for the Easter season to start so he could drink wine again (Osterspill no less). And you thought the Swiss were bland. I’d call this painting in that setting bold for its time. One more thing. There were passion plays leading up to and following Easter, and the reference to the burger attending the theater is probably a reference to that as well…. a production likely produced right in front of this painting.
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