A couple of kilometers away from Welchenhausen is Eschfeld with its Neo-Gothic Church of St. Lucy located. It was built in 1869, but when in 1899 Christoph März became a pastor here, he decided to beautify the simple church, and in 1906, he began his epic work that lasted as many as 15 years. Over 1000 characters are depicted in the interior of the church – the genealogical tree of Jesus, the Apostles, all Popes, scenes from the Old and the New Testament, as well as the signs of the zodiac. The pastor shaped the interior so that it was some sort of textbook representing graphically the development of the Sacred History.
The predominant colors in the nave and the choir – blue and gold – are symbols of the mercy and divinity. On a blue background, there are the ‘Divine Stories’ represented that März interpreted in his own way, but, of course, considering the parishioners whom it was meant for.
They say that he had translated the Bible into the local Eifel dialect.
On the walls are depicted the Apostles, as well as Moses, and Aaron.Their monumental depictions are provided above with a wall with towers on which stand angels commenting in a humoristic way the personal story of every character.
Here we can see, for example, James, son of Zebedee, depicted as a pilgrim with a fish dropped over his head as a reminder of his profession.
Apostle Bartholomew, who was skinned alive before crucifying. He fought against the cult of the Goddess Astarte and has destroyed her graven image that is shown by an angel.
In the bays is the genealogical tree beginning with Adam and Eve and ending with Jesus pictured, as well as all popes from the Apostle Peter to the Pope Pious X.
Scenes with the ‘Heavenly Riders’ that help the people.
The pictures in the choir are limited to the gold color (which is the color of the Sun and thus, of God himself), and to the angels.
‘Eschfeld Flood’ at the far end of the church is the last picture that März painted in 1921. Here the both divine colors – the blue and the gold – are absent, for this is a scene concerning only the humans and their realm.
In 1931, after a 15-year-long work on the Eschfeld Church and on a couple of other churches, chapels, and clergy houses, Christoph März fell off the scaffolding while working on his clergy house in Eschfeld. He died of internal injuries in Prüm Hospital. At the age of 64.
Before he died, he asked for his paintbrush to be placed in his coffin with the words that maybe there is in Heaven something to beautify waiting for him.
(Information sources about the church: the websites eifel.de; eschfeld.de; eifelpunkt.de)
Why am I telling this story? Not only because of my personal admiration for every clearly manifested artistic individualism who isn’t afraid to present things in his own way. But also because I am pretty sure that Cristoph März was one of these few people who are clearly aware of their mission on Earth, had carried it out in the best possible way, and then had passed away….in an absurd manner and, expressed in our limited human language: ‘before his time’, but maybe it was exactly because he had completed his mission and had nothing left to do anymore.
Maybe his story sounds sad at first reading, but at a second, it sounds to me just wonderful.