Tag Archives: paintings

Fedor A. Vasilev

Portrait of Vasilev by Kramskoi

Fedor Aleksandrovich Vasilev was a Russian landscape painter who was born on February 22, 1850, in Gatchina, Russia. His dad was a low ranking government official.

Having to work from the age of 12, Vasilev was a mailman, scribe and an assistant to an art restorer. After the death of his father he became the sole supporter of his family.

He started to take evening classes at the Society For Promotion of Artists’ School of Painting in 1863. While attending these classes, Vasilev, he met many painters who took care of him.

In 1866, famous landscape painter Ivan Shishkin, fell in love with Vasilev’s sister and began to teach him landscape painting.

Vasilev and Shishkin worked together between July and November 1867, on the island of Vallam. As a result of his friendship with Shishkin, Vasilev was introduced to other famous Russian painters and art collectors.

After painting Thaw in 1871, Vasilev became famous with the Russian royal family ordering a copy. Unfortunately, he was unable to enjoy his fame as he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and had to leave Saint Petersburg for the Crimea.

It took him a long time to get used to his new surroundings and he painted landscapes from the plains of Russia. Eventually he got used to his new surroundings and started painting landscapes of the Crimea.

On October 6, 1873, at the age of 23 Vasilev passed away in Yalta.

Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fyodor_Vasilyev

The Battle of Aspern-Essling

Originally published December 31, 2011.

On June 4, 2009, Austria issued a stamp commemorating the battle of Aspern-Essling.  The Stamp is based on a painting of Johann Peter Kraft and was completed circa 1809.

June 4, 2009 – Archduke Charles of Austria During the Battle of Aspern-Essling by Johann Peter Krafft.

The Battle
In the Battle, the Austrians under Archduke Charles of Austria drove back Napoleon as he and his forces attempted to cross the Danube near Vienna.  This was the first time that Napoleon had been personally defeated in over 10 years.

Casualties were high on both sides with Napoleon losing one of his best commanders and friends, Marshal Jean Lannes, who was wounded by an Austrian cannonball.

The Artist

Painted by Johann Peter Krafft (Sept. 1780 – Oct. 1856) was born in Hanau and began his study of art at the age of ten.  He studied under Heinrich Füger, Jacques-Louis David and François Gérard.  In 1828 he became director of the Imperial and Royal Picture Gallery.  He died at the age of 76.

The Stamp

Issued: June 4, 2009
Perforated: 14×14
300,000 Issued.
Issued as a mini sheet of 1 stamp
Printed by: Offset by Austrian State Printing



The 4 Indian Kings

Originally published June 15, 2018


Issued on April 19, 2010, to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the portraits representing the 4 Indian Kings from the Iroquoian Confederacy who travelled to London, UK to meet with Queen Anne. Having been so impressed by her visitors, the Queen commissioned John Vereslt a court painter to paint their portraits. Each portrait shows a King with their hereditary clan animal at their side. In all of the portraits, the four kings are wearing red cloaks that were made for them and were gifts from Queen Anne.

The first stamp in the souvenir sheet (the stamp on the left below) features Tee Yee Neen Ho Ga Row of the Wolf Clan. His name means Double Life and he was said to be over 6 feet tall. Baptized as Hendrick, he was also known as King Hendrick Peters and was known as being Christian. In his portrait, he is holding a wampum belt. To his right, you can see the wolf. The portrait is titled: Emperor of the Six Nations.

Next is Sa Ga Yeath Qua Pieth Tow (the stamp on the right above) of the Bear Clan. Christened as Peter Brant, he was the grandfather of Joseph Brant. He was pictured with a musket and his very elaborate tattoos. To his left, you can see the bear representing his hereditary clan. Peter Brant was a Catholic and was the leading king of the Mohawks. The portrait is titled: King of the Maquas

The third is Ho Nee Yeath Taw No Row (pictured on the left below) of the Wolf Clan. King of the Canojaharie as he was baptized as John. He is pictured with a Bow and his quiver of arrows on the ground to his right. To the left is the wolf. The portrait is titled: King of Generethgarich


The last portrait is of Etow Oh Koam. Baptized as Nicholas, he was known as the King of the River Nation. He was a Mahican of the Turtle Clan. Painted holding a ball-headed war club and English dress sword you can see the turtle representing his clan to his right. The portrait is titled: King of the River Nation.

These portraits were presented to Library and Archives Canada by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second in 1977. Prior to being given to Canada, they resided in London, England and at one point they were in Queen Anne’s London residence Kensington Palace. The portraits are among the earliest surviving portraits of North American native people.

Philately News.com – http://philatelynews.com/2010/canada/the-four-indian-kings/
Virtual Vault, Collections Canada – http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/virtual-vault/4-kings/index-e.html
Courtly Lives – http://www.angelfire.com/mi4/polcrt/4Chiefs.html
Canada Post – www.canadapost.ca/cpo/mc/personal/collecting/stamps/2010/2010_Four_Kings.jsf
Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Mohawk_Kings

Paintings by Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz

Originally published January 18, 2009

On December 6, 1985, Poland issued a 5 stamp set of Paintings by the Polish artist Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz. Witkiewicz was born in Warsaw on February 24, 1885. He was the son of architect and art critic Stanislaw Witkiewicz and his Godmother was the internationally famous actress Helena Modrzejewska.

Witkacy, as he liked to be called, was homeschooled as a child and was encouraged to pursue interests in many fields. After an early tragedy in his life, he was asked to travel to Oceania to act as a draftsman and photographer. Whether he went is in dispute as it was probably interrupted by World War I. On his return he enlisted as an officer in the Imperial Russian Army. He lived through the Russian Revolution while he was in St. Petersburg.

Witkacy was determined to be an artist and some of his earlier work received critical attention. He was also known as a photographer, playwright, philosopher and novelist.

His self-portrait completed in 1931 is pictured on the 10 zloty stamp.

Witkacy was a member of the Polish avant-garde artists called the Formists. He also opened the Portrait Firm which was a commercial enterprise where he painted portraits based on customer specifications often under the influence of Narcotics.

The 5 zloty stamp features the painting “Marysia and Burek in Ceylon”. It was completed between 1920-21 and was done in oil. It is in the National Museum of Cracow. The second 10 zloty stamp features the painting “Woman with a fox”.

Completed in 1917, Witkacy’s “Compositions” is on the 20 zloty stamp. The final stamp in the set is the 25 zloty value featuring the “Portrait of Nena Stachurska” which was done by Witkacy’s Portrait Firm in 1929. It is currently housed in the Tatra Museum. During his life, he wrote 3 novels that have been translated into English. He also wrote over 40 plays 21 of which still survive.

After the invasion of Poland in World War II, he escaped to eastern Poland with his lover. After the Russian invasion later in September 1939, Witkacy committed suicide.

It wasn’t until after the war that Witkacy’s reputation started to shine. Several Polish writers brought his works to the forefront at home and internationally. His play “The Crazy Locomotive” won an Obie.

In an ironic twist, while under communist rule, the Polish Culture Ministry decided to relocate Witkacy’s remains to his town of birth for a solemn burial. 50 years after the publication of his last novel genetic testing discovered that the remains were actually that of an unknown Ukranian woman.

Wikipedia. Stanislaw_Ignacy_Witkiewicz. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanis%C5%82aw_Ignacy_Witkiewicz
Culture.pl. Polish culture: Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz (Witkacy). http://www.culture.pl/en/culture/artykuly/os_witkiewicz_stanislaw_ignacy
Mark Rudnicki & Info Poland. Witkacy: Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz 1885-1939 by. http://info-poland.buffalo.edu/classroom/witkacy/witkacy.html

Paintings From Canada’s Centennial Issue

originally published January 17, 2009

Canada Post’s Centennial Issue series of stamps were issued between 1967 and 1971. This series included 7 stamps based on works by famous Canadian artists. All 7 stamps were issued on February 8, 1967.


The 8 cent stamp features the “Alaska Highway between Watson Lake and Nelson” painted by A.Y. Jackson in 1943. Born in Montreal in 1882, he was a member of the Group of Seven. A.Y. Jackson passed away in 1974 at Kleinburg, Ontario.

Darnell No. 517


The “Jack Pine” painted between 1916 and 1917 by Tom Thomson is on the 10 cent stamp. Thomson was born in 1877 and died tragically while canoeing in Algonquin Park in 1917. Thomson was also a member of the Group of Seven.

Darnell No. 518


Painted circa 1930 the “Greenland Mountains” painted by Lawren Harris is featured on the 15 cent stamp. In 1939 he became the leader of the Transcendental Group of Painters. Harris was born in Brantford, Ontario in 1885 and died in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1970.

Darnell No. 519


The 20 cent stamp has “The Ferry, Québec”, which was painted in 1907 by James Wilson Morrice. Morrice was born in Montreal in 1865 and was admitted to the Bar in Ontario. After studying for and passing the Bar exam he dedicated himself to his art. He died in Tunisia in 1924.

Darnell No. 520


J.E.H. MacDonald was born in 1873 in Durham, England his family immigrated to Canada in 1887. Educated in Toronto and Hamilton, while working at the Grip he met Tom Thomson and other future members of the Group of Seven. MacDonald is considered one of the most important Canadian landscape artists. He died in Toronto in 1932. His “The Solemn Land” completed in 1921 is the design on the 25 cent stamp.

Darnell No. 521



Completed in 1941, John Ensor’s the “Summer’s Store” is on the 50 cent stamp. Ensor was born in Llanishen, Wales in 1905 and immigrated to Canada with his family. He served with the Royal Canadian Air Force and was an Industrial Designer. He died in Ottawa, Ontario in 1995.

Darnell No. 522



The 1 dollar stamp features Henry George Glyde’s “Imperial Wildcat No. 3, Excelsior Field, near Edmonton” painted in 1950. Glyde who was born in 1906, was an art teacher in Alberta and influenced Western Canadian Art in his long and distinguished career. Henry Glyde died in 1998.

Darnell No. 523



CyberMuse – Your Art Educational. http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/Exhibitions/Horizons/En/bio-432.html
Library and Archives Canada. Canadian Postal Archives. http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/archivianet/02011703_e.html
Glenbow Museum. http://www.glenbow.org