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Monaco 1995-1999

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This five-year period of Albuisson's "Monegasque Career" has brought a wonder to the philatelic world; his famous engraving of "Spring" [Le Printemps] shown immediately below right, was in 1997 elected as the most beautiful stamp of the world, and for the occasion re-issued in a souvenir-sheet. Scroll down the page, and take a look. I am sure that you will agree in this nomination :-) 

Monaco 1995. International Hunting Council and the Protection of Game. Monaco 1995. 100th anniversary of the discovery of X-rays. Monaco 1995. Sandro Botticelli: "The Spring".
  • Monaco 1995. International Council of Wildlife Conservation, depicting St. Hubert, patron saint of Hunters. Design by P. Toth, engraving by Albuisson. 

  • Monaco 1995. 100th anniversary of the discovery of X-rays by the German scientist Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen. 

  • Monaco 1995. "The Spring" after a painting by the Italian Renaissance master, Sandro Botticelli. See also the souvenir sheet, issued 1997, below on this page. Design and engraving by Albuisson. Note that this stamp was issued with an upper tabs of the same design as shown on the "cachet" of the below souvenir sheet. 

The 150th anniversary of the Discovery of the Planet Neptune was celebrated by Monaco with this issue, designed and engraved by Albuisson. 

Neptune is a major planet in the solar system, eighth planet from the Sun, and fourth largest in diameter. Neptune maintains an almost constant distance, about 4.5 billion km (about 2.8 billion mi), from the Sun. 

Monaco 1996. Discovery of Neptune.

Neptune revolves outside the orbit of Uranus and for most of its orbit, moves inside the elliptical path of the outermost planet Pluto. 

Every 248 years, Pluto’s elliptical orbit brings the planet inside Neptune’s nearly circular orbit for about 20 years, temporarily making Neptune the farthest planet from the Sun. 

The last time Pluto’s orbit brought it inside Neptune’s orbit was in 1979. In 1999, Pluto’s orbit brought it back outside Neptune’s orbit. 

  • Monaco 1996. Discovery of Neptune. In Roman mythology Neptune is the god of the sea, son of the god Saturn, and brother of Jupiter, king of the gods, and Pluto, god of the dead. Originally a god of springs and streams, he became identified with the Greek god of the sea, Poseidon. 

Camille Corot and Francisco Goya are both well known figures in Art History. The below two stamps form a complete set of paintings issued by Monaco in 1996.  

Monaco 1996. Bicentenary of birth of Camille Corot. Self Portrait. Monaco 1996. 250th Birth Anniversary of Francisco Goya. Self Portrait.
  • Monaco 1996. Bicentenary of birth of Camille Corot (1796-1875). Self Portrait. Belongs to the Uffizi Galleries, Florence (Italy). 

  • Monaco 1996. 250th Birth Anniversary of Francisco Goya (1746-1828). Self Portrait, painted c. 1775-1780. Belongs to the San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Madrid.  

René Descartes (1596-1650) was a French philosopher, scientist, and mathematician, sometimes called the father of modern philosophy. The first modern philosopher, René Descartes believed science and mathematics could explain and predict events in the physical world. Descartes developed the Cartesian coordinate system for graphing equations and geometric shapes. Modern maps use a grid system that can be traced back to Cartesian graphing techniques.

Born in La Haye, Touraine (a region and former province of France), Descartes was the son of a minor nobleman and belonged to a family that had produced a number of learned men. At the age of eight he was enrolled in the Jesuit school of La Flèche in Anjou, where he remained for eight years. Besides the usual classical studies, Descartes received instruction in mathematics and in Scholastic philosophy, which attempted to use human reason to understand Christian doctrine. 

Roman Catholicism exerted a strong influence on Descartes throughout his life. Upon graduation from school, he studied law at the University of Poitiers, graduating in 1616. He never practiced law, however; in 1618 he entered the service of Prince Maurice of Nassau (whose name was later to be immortalized in the naming of the Island of Maurice [Mauritius]), leader of the United Provinces of the Netherlands, with the intention of following a military career. In succeeding years Descartes served in other armies, but his attention had already been attracted to the problems of mathematics and philosophy to which he was to devote the rest of his life. 

Monaco 1997. 400th Birth Anniversary of René Descartes. Monaco 1997. Frans Hals' original painting of Descartes.
  • Monaco 1997. 400th birth anniversary of René Descartes. Design and engraving by Albuisson, after the famous painting of Descartes by the Dutch Baroque painter Frans Hals, that belongs to the Louvre Museum in Paris. 

Monaco 1996. Colour Proof of the Descartes-stamp.

  • Monaco 1996. Colour Proof of the Descartes-stamp. 

Monaco 1997. 700th anniversary of the Grimaldi's in Monaco.

The Grimaldi Family has ruled Monaco for centuries, and in 1997 Monaco celebrated the 700th anniversary of the Family's Reign, with the issuance of this souvenir sheet, showing the geographic evolution of the area. 

The stamps were only issued in this souvenir sheet. Design and engraving by Albuisson. 

The sheet contains these four stamps, each of a face value of 5 francs, intended for use on registered letters up to 20 grams.  They depict

Top row: 
Map from the 13th century.
Map from the 15th to 19th century. 

Bottom row:
Monaco and Fontvieille
Monte Carlo 

  • Monaco 1997. 700th anniversary of the Grimaldi's in Monaco. 

Below is shown the souvenir sheet, issued in 1997, containing Pierre Albuisson's engraving of "The Spring" after a painting by the Italian Renaissance master Sandro Botticelli. 

Monaco 1997. Souvenir sheet of Sandro Botticelli's painting "The Spring".

  • Monaco 1997. Winner of the Third Competition for the World's Most Beautiful Stamp, Monaco retrieves her fourth World Cup of Stamps. 

The last three stamps of this period cover so different themes as music, and politics. The three stamps were all both designed and engraved by Albuisson, and again they show his prolific talent for design in free style, at the same time retaining the unmistakable impression of Monegasque stamps. 

Monaco 1998. Birth centenary of the American composer George Gershwin. 50th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions. Monaco 1999. 50th Anniversary of Monaco's adhesion to UNESCO.
  • Monaco 1998. Birth centenary of the American composer George Gershwin. 

  • Monaco 1999. 50th Anniversary of the Geneva Conventions. 

  • Monaco 1999. 50th Anniversary of Monaco's adhesion to UNESCO. 

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Published June 2005. Revised 08-feb-2007
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