This year, the Canada Post Christmas stamps recall the history of the December 25th tradition. Entitled Madonna and Child, this issue celebrates the birth of Christ through illustrations of stained glass windows depicting the Madonna and baby Jesus. The design firm, Eskind Waddell, conducted a Canada-wide search for glass works of the Madonna and Child. Those selected represent different religious denominations and various regions within Canada. In each image, the closeness between mother and child is conveyed, giving the stamp a warm, human feel. Scheduled for release on November 3, these stamps represent the exceptional talent of three artists - Guido Nincheri, Ellen Simon and Christopher Wallis - and highlight a remarkable art form.
Created by Guido Nincheri, this circa-1940 work, entitled "Our Lady of the Rosary", adorns the Holy Rosary Cathedral in Vancouver. Born in Italy in 1885, Nincheri came to Montreal in 1915. A painter and designer who listed Titian and Raphael as his strongest influences, he obtained work with Henri Perdriau, Quebec's leading decorator of churches. In the years afterward, he went on to produce stained glass windows and frescoes for more than 100 churches in Canada and United States. Dubbed 'the church's greatest artist of religious themes' by Pope Pius XI, Nincheri was knighted by Italy in 1972. Twenty years later, he was also honoured for his contribution during Montreal's 350th anniversary celebrations. Ian Hodkinson, historian and professor emeritus of art conservation at Queen's University, notes that Nincheri painted more and bigger murals than any other Canadian artist and "brought tremendous imagination and details to these depictions". Beyond the work featured in this Canada Post series, Nincheri's celebrated works also include windows in Ottawa's Notre Dame Cathedral and Montreal's St-Léon-de-Westmount, and Notre-Dame-de-la-Défense.