A commemorative postage stamp on the “The Annunciation” by Flemish artist Jan van Eyck :
Issued by United States of America
Issued on Nov 1, 1968
Design : The 6¢ 1968 U.S. Christmas stamp reproduces the figure of the Angel Gabriel from van Eyck’s “The Annunciation”. Designed by R. J. Jones, it was first placed on sale in Washington, D.C., on November 1, 1968.
Type : Stamp, Postal Used
Denomination : 6 cents
- Christmas, that joyful festival of the Christian faith commemorating the birth of Jesus, encompasses many cherished traditions. For nearly 2,000 years, people around the world have celebrated the miracle of the Christ Child in customs, symbols, literature and song.
- One of the more meaningful and lasting ways men have observed Christ’s birthday is through religious art. The styles, techniques and interpretations of the painters and sculptors may vary, but the source of their inspiration remains the same. Many works of art were created depicting the Madonna and Child as symbols of the Christian faith, along with the other events surrounding Christmas. The greatest of these, both in quantity and quality, were done by the artists of the Renaissance.
- Few religious art treasures of the Renaissance are more highly praised than the works of Jan van Eyck, the 15th century Flemish master who pioneered the technique of oil painting. Through his art, van Eyck expressed the inner-most yearnings and ideals of mankind, which are brought to the fore in the annual Christmas celebration.
- “The Annunciation”, which pictures the Angel Gabriel announcing to the Virgin Mary that she is to be the mother of Jesus, ranks as one of van Eyck’s finest and most famous works. It epitomizes the artist’s style, which emphasizes natural lighting, brilliant colors, precise detailing, and his extraordinary ability to create a realistic illusion of depth. The complex oil, originally commissioned as a panel for the Cathedral of St. Bavon in Ghent, Belgium, is now part of the collection of the National Gallery of Art, in Washington, D.C.