Monaco 1990-1994

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This period has brought 12 Monegasque stamps to Albuisson's burin; they range from "normal commemoratives" to arts and music. 

Monaco 1990. Bicentenary of the discovery ofHomeopathic Medicine by C.,S. Hahnemann. Monaco 1990. Bicentenary of birth of Jean-François Champollion.
  • Monaco 1990. Bicentenary of the discovery of Homeopathic Medicine by C.S. Hahnemann. Hahnemann was born in Meissen in Saxony, and laid the foundation of modern homeopathy. Design by Pierrette Lambert, engraving by Pierre Albuisson. 

  • Monaco 1990. Bicentenary of birth of Jean-François Champollion, a French Egyptologist, acknowledged as the father of modern Egyptology. He is best known for his work on the Rosetta Stone, of which he deciphered the hieroglyphics, and which laid the foundations for Egyptian archaeology. Design by Pierrette Lambert, engraving by Pierre Albuisson. 

Claude Monet (1840-1926) is well known as the leader of the Impressionist movement that began by the end of the 19th century in Paris. The below painting "La Pie" [The Magpie] was issued by Monaco for the 150th anniversary of his birth. Click here to see a large version of the painting. The link will open in a new window. You will recognize the magpie on the left at the top of the footbridge across the water. 

Monaco 1990. Claude Monet "The Magpie". Monaco 1990. Claude Monet "The Magpie".  Artist's Proof.
  • Monaco 1990. Claude Monet: "The Magpie".

  • Monaco 1990. Artist's Proof of "The Magpie". 

(François) Auguste René Rodin (1840-1917) was a French sculptor, who imbued his work with great psychological force, which was expressed largely through texture and modeling. He is regarded as the foremost sculptor of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Rodin was born in Paris on November 12, 1840, the son of a police official. He studied art in a free school for artisans and on his own at the Louvre, because he was refused admittance to the École des Beaux-Arts. Rodin was a highly original sculptural genius but he openly acknowledged his indebtedness to the artists who had preceded him -- the masters of ancient Greece and The Renaissance; Phidias, Donatello, Michelangelo. 

Monaco 1990. Auguste Rodin "La Cathédrale".

He was also intensely interested in Gothic art, the cathedrals of France. After viewing and studying the Magnificent cathedral at Amiens he felt that the basic inspiration came from the voices of nature, from the trees with their strong limbs reaching upward. 

In the two right hands with fingers arching together he probably thought that he had discovered the source and inspiration for the gothic arch, that arch which with repetition and expansion led to the creation of the superb gothic cathedrals. 

The hands are obviously those of separate individuals. A spiritual communication between the two is expressed but the fingers and hands remain slightly separated. Could he, through that separation, have been expressing the aloneness of all human beings, the desire for a complete unification which is never realized? The original sculpture is at display in the Rodin Museum in Paris. 

  • Monaco 1990. Auguste Rodin: "La Cathédrale". 

These two stamps were issued for the Monegasque Red Cross, and depict the life of Sainte Dévote, the patron saint of Monaco. Design by Pierrette Lambert, and engravings by Pierre Albuisson. 

Monaco 1992. The life of Sainte Dévote. Monaco 1992. The life of St. Dévote.
  • Monaco 1992. The Life of Sainte Dévote. 

Edvard (Hagerup) Grieg (1843-1907) was the most distinguished Norwegian composer of the 19th century. Born in Bergen on June 15, 1843, he was taught the piano by his mother, a professional pianist, and studied at the Leipzig Conservatory. Grieg was encouraged to write music by the Danish composer Niels Gade, and lived for a period in Copenhagen; his interest in Norwegian folk music was awakened by the Norwegian composer Rikard Nordraak. From 1866 to 1876 Grieg lived in Christiania (now Oslo), where he taught music and became conductor of the Philharmonic Society. In 1867 he married his cousin, Nina Hagerup, a distinguished soprano. 

With this engraving Albuisson has created a wonderful and lively portrait of Grieg. The notes on the stamp refer to "Solveig's Song" from "Peer Gynt" (suite No. 2, op.23, no.19, a poetic drama set in Norway, Morocco, and Egypt in the 19th century, written by the Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. Here are the lyrics to this famous piece of music, performed by the renowned British singer Sarah Brightman. 

The winter may pass and the spring disappear
The spring disappear
The summer too will vanish and then the year
And then the year
But this I know for certain: you'll come back again
You'll come back again
And even as I promised you'll find me waiting then
You'll find me waiting then
Oh-oh-oh ....
God help you when wand'ring your way all alone
Your way all alone
God grant to you his strength as you'll kneel at his throne
As you'll kneel at his throne
If you are in heaven now waiting for me
In heaven for me
And we shall meet again love and never parted be
And never parted be!
Oh-oh-oh ....
Monaco 1993. Edvard Grieg. Portrait. Monaco 1993. Edvard Grieg, colour proof.
  • Monaco 1993. Edvard Grieg. 150th birth anniversary. Design and engraving by Albuisson. This stamp, in all its sophistication with the "free style" and easy touch within the well defined job, truly bears "the signature" of Pierre Albuisson, and shows clearly his exquisite talent as portraitist. 

  • Monaco 1993. Colour proof of the Grieg-stamp. Scan © Timbres Magazine, November 2004. 

Georges de La Tour (1593-1652) was a French painter of religious and genre subjects, best known for his night scenes of dark interiors illuminated by candlelight. He was born in Vic, a small town in the duchy of Lorraine. The evidence of his work suggests that he was influenced by the Italian master Caravaggio, known for his dramatic lighting effects, and by the Dutch masters Hendrick Terbrugghen and Gerrit van Honthorst, leaders of the tenebroso (shadowy) style. La Tour's night scenes are often lit by a single emphatic light source, such as a torch or candle. 

He was particularly effective in exploiting the resulting strong contrasts of light and shadow for expressive effect, as in St. Sebastian Tended by St. Irene (1649?, Staatliche Museen, Berlin), where the striking colors of the picture are vividly dramatized by the strong light of a large candle. The same effect is clearly seen in the below painting (left), issued by Monaco in 1993, a painting in which the religious subject matter is combined with the dramatically lit scenery. 

All three stamps in this row were designed and engraved by Albuisson

Monaco 1993. Georges de la Tour: "Saint Joseph working as Carpenter". Monaco 1993. International Day of Civil Protection. Monaco 1993. International Family Day.
  • Monaco 1993. Georges de la Tour: "Saint Joseph working as Carpenter". Oil on canvas, c.1840-1845. It belongs to the Louvre Museum in Paris. 

  • Monaco 1993. International Day of Civil Protection. 

  • Monaco 1994. International Year of the Family.  

Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923) was a French actor, who was the best-known stage figure of her time. She was born Rosine Bernhard in Paris on October 22/23, 1844, the daughter of a courtesan. She was educated in a convent and at the Paris Conservatoire. In 1862 she made her debut at the Comédie Française but attracted so little notice that she soon left the company. She was highly acclaimed for playing the title roles in a French version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet (1899) and in L’Aiglon (1901), a play about Napoleon’s son, written for her by Edmond Rostand. Famous for her slim beauty and bell-like voice, she was called the divine Sarah.

Bernhardt had a leg amputated at the age of 70, but she refused to abandon the stage. She played for troops at the front in World War I and continued to act until her death in Paris on March 26, 1923. She also wrote two plays, a work on acting (1923), and her memoirs (1907), and she showed talent in sculpture and painting. Bernhardt was made a member of the Legion of Honor in 1914.  

Monaco 1994. 150th Birth Anniversary of Sarah Bernhardt. Monaco 1994. Henri Rousseau (Le Douanier): "The Snake Charmer".
  • Monaco 1994. 150th birth anniversary of Sarah Bernhardt.

  • Monaco 1994. Henri Rousseau (Le Douanier): "The Snake Charmer". Oil on canvas 1907. The painting belongs to the Louvre Museum in Paris. Printed in helio engraving. 

To complete this period, the stamp above right by Henri Rousseau is designed by Pierre Albuisson, but NOT engraved. It is printed in offset. (There exists a long listing of such stamps, prepared for offset printing, by Albuisson). 

Henri Julien Félix Rousseau called Le Douanier (1844-1910), was a self-taught French artist, whose bold colors, flat designs, and imaginative subject matter were praised and imitated by modern European painters. Born in Laval, Rousseau enlisted in the army at the age of 18 and claimed to have served briefly in Mexico. After his discharge, he obtained a position with the Paris toll, which explains his sobriquet Le Douanier (The Customs Official). 

On his retirement in 1885 he devoted himself to painting. Although he lacked formal training, Rousseau soon showed great skill in composition and color. Beginning in 1886 he exhibited his work at the Salon des Indépendants, winning the admiration of such contemporaries as Paul Gauguin, Georges Seurat, and Pablo Picasso. After painting mainly portraits and Parisian scenes, he turned during the 1890s to highly original depictions of fantasy. These mature pictures typically depict tropical scenes with human figures at rest or play, and with beasts mysteriously charmed to an alert stillness, like in this painting of "The Snake Charmer". Rousseau's work, admired for its color, composition, and directness, inspired a revival of naive art. 

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Published June 2005. Revised 08-feb-2007
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