Christmas 2015 - Set
Christmas 2015 - Set for only GBP £1.40
This year's Christmas stamp issue features woodcuts of Albrecht Dürer's series Life of the Virgin which date back to 1500. Specialist craftsmen like Dürer would engrave images on a wood block leaving the remaining image raised on the face of the block. Finally, this would be inked with a roller and a print would be drawn.
Albrecht Dürer was born in Nuremberg in 1471, one of the strongest European cultural centres during the Renaissance period. Dürer was first attracted to art by his father as well as through Michael Wolgemut, whom he spent many hours with in his workshop producing woodcut illustrations for major books and publications.
Dürer was a brilliant painter, draftsman and writer - however his greatest impact was in the medium of printmaking. He revolutionised printmaking, elevating it to the level of an independent art form. He later inspired other artists such as Raphael, Titian and Parmigianino to take on the same techniques.
Dürer's work was thoroughly inspired by his visits to Italy. He visited the country twice, from1494 to 1495 and again from 1505 to 1507, taking in the various artistic works of the Italian Renaissance as well as the classical heritage and writings of the various masters.
The prints, titled 'The Flight into Egypt', 'The Nativity of the Lord' and 'The Adoration of the Magi', feature on the 0.26, 0.59, 0.63 stamps respectively. These artworks can be found at the Cathedral Museum in Mdina along with other works of Dürer. They were donated to the museum by the Markezi family in the 1700s.