Magyar Posta is issuing a self-adhesive definitive stamp marked Domestic as the indication of value in standard and special editions for sending seasonal greetings at Christmas in 2022. The standard edition is in sheets of fifty stamps, while the special edition is a miniature sheet of five stamps. Carlo Maratta’s painting The Holy Night appears on the stamp this Yuletide. The new issue was designed by the graphic artist Attila André Elekes and produced by Codex Értékpapírnyomda Zrt. The new releases will be available at first day post offices and Filaposta in Hungary from 25 October 2022, and may also be ordered from Magyar Posta’s online store.
The painter Carlo Maratta (1625-1713) is considered the principal master of Late Baroque Roman Classicism. He fashioned the art of the Eternal City in the second half of the 17th century, especially with his large altarpieces. Early in his career, between 1651 and 1656, he was commissioned by Flavio Alaleona to paint the chapel of St Joseph in the church of San Isidoro in Rome. This included a lunette fresco depicting the Adoration of the Shepherds. Maratta copied the central scene from this fresco, which is the Nativity of Jesus shown on the stamp and the accompanying first day cover (Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden). The Mother of God and her Child and the outer two angel heads are exact replicas of the fresco in Rome.
The press sheet of 50 stamps is enlivened by visual elements on the barcode and festive greetings in Hungarian, English, German and French on the selvedge. A grid, which was previously removed during printing, aids separating the stamps from the sheet. The flexo printing process is complemented with gold-coloured ink for the sheets of 50 stamps and gold-coloured foil for the miniature sheets.