Swallowing picture



    Swallowing pictures are not a phenomenon of the Middle Ages, they are only detectable from the middle of the 18th century! Baroque home medicine, created at the same time as the filthy pharmacies ...

The food, swallowed resp. the incorporation of images can be interpreted as a primordial, immediate form of taking possession, in which the image of a healer is permanently stored in itself. As the names "Schluckbildchen" and "Esszettel" suggest, the main function was that of a "spiritual medicine", in the Baroque period one also spoke of "gratia medicinalis". As a "paper pill" the notes were soaked in water, dissolved or added food, to be subsequently swallowed by the sick (human / animal).

Against fever and other internal illnesses, small pictures of saints were swallowed that could be bought in many places of pilgrimage. The Pharmacy Museum in Basel has a swallow from Salzburg (18th century). Also in Einsiedeln such swallowing pictures were printed. The pictures were especially eagerly printed in Maria Zell



Ch. Schneegass, Schluckbildchen, in: Volkskunst, Zeitschrift für volkstümliche Sachkultur 6, 1983, S. 27-32.