This branch of the Austrian Hesch family is descended from Johann Hesch and his wife Marya (Schlinz) Hesch, who came to America from Oberschlagles, Bohemia with three sons: Paul, Mathias, and Anton. +++Johann & Marya settled in Buffalo County, Wisconsin but moved to Pierz, Mn in about 1885. .+++Mathias settled in Waumandee, Wisconsin and moved to Pierz in 1911. +++Anton never married but farmed with his dad in Agram Township, where he died in 1911.+++And Paul, my great grandfather, settled five miles away, in Buckman, Minnesota. He died there in 1900.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The St Michael Painting--a followup

I was in Buckman on Sunday for Aunt Jeanette's 85th birthday party and took the opportunity (Hey, I was EARLY!) to get better photos of the painting of St Michael the Archangel.

If you click the link, you'll read what our tentative conclusions were last spring.  Now, of course, we have new and more info, thanks to further research from Larry as well as these new angel pics.

Oops--wait, that's the grandkids on Christmas.  It's ok,  they qualify as my angels.

(And yes, they think I'm a hoot).
OK, the new photos are closer-ups of parts of the 4X9 foot painting--especially the figures in the "sky" above Michael.  We thought (when we couldn't see them well) that they were St Ann and her daughter BVMary.  
Now, however, we can see that they're Moses, with tablets, and Jesus.  THAT didn't make any sense to me either, but Larry knew the biblical basis of those figures.  Honest, the man's a marvel!  
He said it's  "the Archangel Michael contending for the body of Moses", since Moses is one of two humans in the old testament who were supposedly taken into heaven without dying (The other was Elijah, he said).  Larry said there's an old Jewish writing about Satan being pissed that Moses had it so easy, so he fought Michael for the right to it.  Wow.

Anyway, the whole painting works better now, EXCEPT for the majorly odd stuff.

We think the painting was commissioned from an artist in St Annasburg, Poland, very near where our Otrembas, Rauschs, Schmolkes and Mischkes came from.  This might also be wrong, but we're going with it till a better answer shows up.
Now, is the thing in Michael's upside down flame?  A hank of hair?  Pouring red paint, or blood?  Traditionally Michael holds a sword in that hand--why paint something so ambiguous?  Also, Michael the Archangel is usually painted standing firmly on Satan--but this Michael's legs seem to be in a deliberately weak position.  Why, when most of the painting seems directly copied from a holy card?  We have no answers, just speculation.

However, there's some very INTERESTING info available on where the painting came from, and that'll be tomorrows topic!

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