The Postal Service has released Florentine Madonna and Child, a Christmas stamp showcasing a 15th-century painting that depicts the Virgin Mary gazing at the Christ child.
The stamp was dedicated Oct. 18 at the National Postal Museum in Washington, DC.
Capital Metro Area VP Linda Malone, who spoke at the dedication ceremony, said the stamp “is perfect for extending Christmas greetings to family, friends and loved ones.”
Other speakers included Chief Human Resources Officer Jeffrey Williamson, Italian America magazine editor Miles Fisher, and Gretchen Hirschauer, an associate curator for the National Gallery of Art, where the painting shown on the stamp is part of the Widener collection.
Art historians have long sought to identify the artist who created the painting, which dates to circa 1470.
Early in the 20th century, the painting was attributed to the Florentine artist Pier Francesco Fiorentino, but it was soon seen instead as the work of another anonymous painter who had created many paintings in the same style.
The Oct. 18 news release has more information.
The stamp, which is being issued in booklets of 20, is available at Post Offices and usps.com.