450th ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF MICHELANGELO

450th ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF MICHELANGELO  

The Philatelic Office will mark the 450th anniversary of the death of Michelangelo Buonarroti with a series of two postage stamps. With Leonardo and Raphael he represented the pinnacle of efforts starting at the end of the 13th century to reach a perfection capable of exceeding that of the great Renaissance masters of classical art. In addition to his unquestionable artistic talent, Michelangelo had a strong character which, in the service of the Popes, helped him during the years of the very challenging task of painting the massive work most often associated with his name, the Sistine Chapel. Adding to this masterful artistic expression a few years later, Pope Paul III Farnese had him paint the side walls of the Pauline Chapel. The works consist of the Conversion of Saint Paul and the Crucifixion of Saint Peter. Two details of the paintings are reproduced in the postage stamps. On the 0.70 cent stamp Saint Peter is depicted right before the moment of his crucifixion, upside down and nailed to the cross about to be hoisted. On the 0.85 cent stamp Saint Paul is shown on the way to Damascus, having fallen from his horse and trying to cover his eyes from the luminous ray of light sent by God, accompanied with the words of Christ: Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? (Acts of the Apostles 9: 1-19)