Saturday 30 May 2020

500th Anniversary of the Birth of Raphael (Malawi, 1983)

Today’s stamp was selected by a special guest (my husband) who nosed through the Trusty Stamp Album, stopped at this one and said “I want to know why Malawi has a stamp about Raphael.” Fair question…

Let’s start with what we know. Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino was a successful and highly influential painter in Italy in the early 16th century. His works were lapped up by the great and the good of Urbino (his home town), Florence (one of the two main artistic hubs in Italy at that time) and Rome; his workshop expanded to over 50 artists and students.

And we also know that 1983 was the 500th anniversary of his birth, which gives a partial rationale for this stamp.

But why Malawi? I have no idea, though he seems to have featured on stamps in 1971, 1990 and 2009, so there’s obviously a fondness for him among the Malawian postal administration.

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