Britain’s new Christmas Stamps Showcase Popular Painting and Children’s Designs

02 Dec 2017  Sat

The new Christmas stamp from Great Britain depicts Cowper Madonna by Raphael which is a painting showcased at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. The British stamp is among a dozen Christmas stamps issued Nov. 7 by Royal Mail.

Four of the stamps show the two winning entries in a children’s design competition, and eight stamps reproduce Madonna and Child paintings.

More than 200,000 entries from children aged 4 through 11 were received in the competition. These were narrowed down to the top two from 12 different United Kingdom regions, and, from those 24 designs, Prince Charles chose the two winners.The prince presented framed examples of their stamps to Lewis-Clark and Wilson at a Nov. 7 ceremony held at Clarence House in Westminster.

Lewis-Clarks’ design “Santa Claus on his sleigh on a starry night” is featured on the non-denominated first-class stamp for standard mail and the non-denominated first-class stamp for large mail.

“The Snow Family” by Wilson appears on the non-denominated second-class stamp for standard mail and the non-denominated second-class stamp for large mail.

The non-denominated first and second class Madonna and Child stamps are available in two versions, one for standard mail and the other for large mail.

The first-class stamps depict a detail from The Madonna and Child by 19th-century Scottish artist William Dyce.

This painting is part of the Royal Collection. According to the Royal Trust, this oil-on-canvas hangs in the queen’s bedroom at Osborne House. It was purchased by Prince Albert in 1845.

The painting focuses more on religious devotion than maternal affection, the spiritual rather than the sensual. The Virgin reads a Bible passage referring to the stock of Jesse (Isaiah 11) and the child points to Mary as the origin of Christ.”

This oil-on-canvas work is believed to have been painted around 1520 by Gerard David. Now part of the Prado Museum in Madrid, Spain, this painting was once a part of the collection of King Phillip II (1527-98), who sent it to Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial in 1577.