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Easter (continued)
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Traditions     Art     Places

One of the most famous Easter paintings of all times is by the Spanish artist Salvador Dali, "Christ of St. John of the Cross", painted 1951, and issued by -- among many other countries --  Nicaragua in 1968.  The original painting belongs to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.  
 

The painting is surrealistic in the sense that the cross virtually falls out of the frame and down on your head when you look at it.  

It is, at the same time, a terrific, and terrifying, work of art.   

In my view this painting is not fit for the small stamp format, as too many details are lost in the reduced size.  

You can have a view of the original painting here and make your own comparison. The link will open in a new window. 

  • Nicaragua 1968.  Christ of St. John of the Cross. 

At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour.  And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachtani?", meaning "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?" [Matthew 27: 45-46, and Mark 15: 33-34] 

 

"The Tenth Plague -- Killing of the First Born" [The Book of Exodus: The Escape from Egypt], and "The Resurrection of Christ on Easter Day" [Matthew 28: 1-10] mark the central parts of Easter after Jewish and Christian traditions. 

  • Switzerland 1961.  The Evangelists Matthew and Mark. The stamps are part of a set of four, showing the four Evangelists. 

 

On January 1st, 2000, Russia celebrated the 2000th anniversary of the Birth of Christ by issuing this set of four stamps and one sheet, that picture highlights from the rather short life of Christ.  
 

Russia 2000. 
Christ before Pilate.
Painting by N.N. Ge

Russia 2000. 
Christ in the Desert
Painting by I.N. Kramskoi

Russia 2000. 
The Awakening of Jairus' Daughter
Painting by W.D. Polenow

Russia 2000. 
Christ in Martha's and Maria's House
Painting by G.I. Semiradsky

Russia 2000. 
Christ appearing before the People
Painting by A.A. Iwanow 

Here is an interesting cover, commercially used, from Russia to Denmark, cancelled 10th October 2000 in Izewsk, the administrative capital of the autonomous Republic of Udmurtia, located in the foot-hills of the Ural Mountains. Such a cover does not often come around.  

  • Russia 2000.  The cover is franked with two of the stamps in the above set, the Pilate-stamp and Christ in Martha's and Maria's house. 

My German collector friend, Gerhard Batz, who has reviewed this page, has contributed this Slovak stamp, showing a modern interpretation of the theme of The Resurrection. The stamp is part of a set of four religious paintings.

It is based on the painting "Resurrection" by Vincent Hloznik, and  engraved by Martin Cinovsky.  (scan © Gerhard Batz, Germany). 

  • Slovakia, December 1997:  "The Resurrection". 

According to legend, Pilate was born in Germany in present day's Forchheim, a few kilometers from Nuremberg.  In 2005 Forchheim celebrated its 1200th anniversary of foundation, and on 14th January 2005 Germany issued a stamp and a First Day Sheet celebrating the anniversary.   

  • Front cover illustration from the book "Das Pilatus-Puzzle", showing a fragment of a frescoe of Pontius Pilate, executed by Giotto di Bondone, Capella Serovegni, Padua (Italy) 1305, in combination with a photograph (top) from Forchheim (Pilatushof/Church of St. Martin), and (bottom) from Hausen (Church of St. Wolfgang).

  • Germany 2005.  First Day Sheet (Ersttagsblatt), issued in celebration of Forchheim's 1200th city  anniversary, depicting a panoramic view of Pilatushof/Church of St. Martin. Click here to see a close-up of the stamp itself.  The link will open in a new window. 

In a series named "Personalities of the Romanian Diaspora" the Romanian Post Office issued in 2000 a set of stationery, six prepaid postcards based on paintings by the modern Romanian painter and poet Georges Dumitresco, born in Bucharest 1922, now living in Lausanne, Switzerland.  Each card is prepaid with 700 L, and each of them were printed in 20.000 copies.  The back side of the cards is blank for the intended message. 

Two of the cards are secular paintings, franked with a photograph and a self-portrait of the artist, respectively. 

To the right are fragments of the two secular cards, franked with a photograph of the artist, and a self-portrait. 

Click on the photographed portrait to see the full card with a painting of "Winter", 

and on the self-portrait to see the full card with a painting of "The Pavilion". The links will open in a new window. 

The remaining four postcards feature religious paintings based on the Easter Gospel.  The paintings representing the prepaid stamps are all painted by Georges Dumitresco, and of a modern iconographic nature. In all of these paintings the artist's palette is loaded with symbolism of the bloody events that took place around Easter 2000 years ago.  Click on either of the links to see a large version.  The links will open in a new window. 
 

Romania 2000.  
Dumitresco:  "Crown of Thorns"
Click here to see a large version.
The link will open in a new window.

Romania 2000.  
Dumitresco: "Descending from the Cross"
Click here to see a large version.
The link will open in a new window. 

For your convenience close-ups of the prepaid stamps from the four religious cards are uploaded here.

Crown of Thorns

Descending Cross

Ascension

Gethsemane

Romania 2000.  
Dumitresco:  "Ascension"
(celebrated on the Thursday 
that is the 40th day after Easter)
Click here to see a large version.
The link will open in a new window.

Romania 2000.  Dumitresco:  "Gethsemane". 
Click here to see a large version
.  
The link will open in a new window. 

With these paintings, religious as well as secular, that are the first ones by Georges Dumitresco to be issued by his native Romania, the artist has certainly proved a very talented and skillful painter.  His production is very large, and he has held several exhibitions in Romania, Switzerland, and France. 

Traditions     Art     Places

Sources:


Revised 02 nov 2006 
Copyright © by Ann Mette Heindorff
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