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 international-rate Christmas stamp features a nineteenth-century statue created by Thomas Baillargé called "Adoring Angel Kneeling". Neo-classical trends are evident in Baillairgé's work. His angel was created with a somewhat idealized anatomy; the face is smooth and consistent and suggests an internalized beauty. The robes, though clinging, seem more decorative than naturalistic. Once an integral part of a side tabernacle for the Saint-Louis de Lotbinière church, the statue is now property of the Detroit Institute of Arts in Michigan.
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.