The fascination with angels has transcended many generations. People are warmed by the notion of celestial beings watching over them. This winter, Canada Post will rekindle the spirit of angels with a delightful Christmas set of three stamps featuring the angelic sculpture of seventh- and nineteenth-century Quebec artists.
Sculptural style evolved during the two centuries in which these three works of art were produced. Artists in early Quebec were influenced by various European - and particularly the French - artistic movements, but a certain originality borne of Quebec's unique cultural context became evident in their sculpture.
This U.S.-rate Christmas stamp captures the "Adoring Angel", an oak and maple statue likely commissioned by the Catholic Church which features complex iconography imagery. Its stylistic qualities suggest it was created in the latter part of the seventeenth century. The "Adoring Angel" was originally part of the church tabernacle, one of the two figures formed the canopy above the main structure. The pair were tilted forward to form a huge inverted brackets. Their muscular figures, light and decorative robes, and windblown hair are all keeping with the Baroque ideal. Over the years, the statue was moved from church to church. In 1976, it was acquired by the Musée du Québec.
The 1998 Christmas stamps are available in both panes and booklets. Designed by Anita Zeppetelli of Gottschalk & Ash International Design Consultants, these issues combine the peaceful expressions of the statues with background images of light rays and clouds to reflect a celestial and spiritual sense. The set will be released November 6 in Lévis, Quebec.