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Christmas Stamps include painting from The Courtauld Gallery

THE Courtauld Gallery is delighted that Royal Mail’s 2013 Christmas Stamp Issue includes a painting from its collection: Virgin and Child with the young St John the Baptist by Antoniazzo Romano (c.1430-c.1510).

Royal Mail issued its religious-themed Christmas stamps on November 5, 2013 and this year the designs are images of the Madonna and Child. A selection of images across the centuries has been published including, on the 2nd Class stamp, a detail from Romano’s tender painting of the Virgin and Child.

The full set of Christmas stamps can be viewed at

Antoniazzo Romano was the leading painter in late 15th century Rome. He specialised in representations of the Virgin that combined medieval traditions, such as the gold background, with more innovative features. These included the use of oil paint and the depiction of the young John the Baptist in a tunic made of camel hair.

Part of the collection of Thomas Gambier Parry (1816-88), the painting, which was probably the central panel of a triptych, was bequeathed to The Courtauld Gallery by his grandson, Mark Gambier-Parry in 1966. The painting is on view to the public in the Renaissance room on the ground floor, and the stamps are also for sale in The Courtauld Gallery Shop.

Ernst Vegelin, Head of The Courtauld Gallery, said: “We are delighted that this beautiful work has been chosen as a Christmas stamp. It will bring The Courtauld Gallery’s important early Renaissance collection into homes across the UK.”

As well as online, the stamps are available by phone on 08457 641 641 and in 10,000 Post Offices throughout the UK.