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    Palikir, Federated States of Micronesia - 02/25/2013 -

    This magnificent sheetlet from the Federated States of Micronesia depicts various famous paintings from legendary artist Vincent van Gogh.  There are four different stamps on this sheet: The Starry Night, Vase with Irises, Willow Sunset, and Vincent van Gogh’s ear! Van Gogh is not only known for his paintings, but also for famously cutting off his own ear on December 23, 1888, 125 years ago this year. Shown on the selvedge is van Gogh’s Self-Portrait, 1889, which shows the side of his ear that he did not mutilate. As the ear is its own stamp, it can be removed from his portrait entirely!

     

    The sheet also features three of van Gogh’s most famous paintings, each showing a different accomplishment. The Starry Night, 1889, displays van Gogh’s vision of the south of France at night. Starry Night shows van Gogh’s talent for unique swirl brush strokes. Vase with Irises, 1889, illustrates van Gogh’s amazing still-life dexterity. This highlights his savvy for painting shadows and lights. Willows at Sunset, 1888, manifests van Gogh’s vision of how he saw the change from summer to autumn. These three paintings give us a glimpse into the mind and ability of this dynamic man.

     

    Vincent van Gogh was born on March 30, 1853, in the Netherlands. Dealing with many disorders, van Gogh found it hard to keep a job and became a full time artist in 1880. Although now we consider van Gogh as an artistic genius and a visionary, during his time he was seen as an outcast and only ever sold one painting. Van Gogh painted scenes from the countryside, still-lifes, and self-portraits, which are now sold for record-breaking prices. Van Gogh never imaged his longevity when he was alive. He cut off his ear as he struggled with his many demons, and eventually took his own life in 1890 at the age of 37. Though his life was short, he changed the art world forever. 

     

    The stamps were designed and are being distributed by the Inter-Governmental Philatelic Corp. (IGPC), the United States-based leader in governmental philatelic services. Founded in 1957, IGPC is the world’s largest and most prestigious Philatelic agency representing more than 70 International Government Postage agencies including Liberia, Grenada, and the Federated States of Micronesia. IGPC’s innovative designs and featured themes have helped to keep stamp collecting current and maintain its exalted status as “The Hobby of Kings.”

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