September 2021 – Dante Alighieri

Dante Alighieri For the first time, Liechtenstein Post is honoring the great writer Dante Alighieri with a special souvenir sheet with two stamps. This tribute is being paid on the 700th anniversary of his death.

We only know about Dante’s life indirectly, derived from sources including the works of the poet himself. Even if we have an image of Dante in our minds today, he must not have looked like this, because all portraits of him were painted by artists after his death who did not even know him themselves. It is possible that he did not have a crooked nose.

Dante Alighieri

Dante’s crooked nose may not have been real at all

It is assumed that Dante was born into a noble family in Florence at the end of May or beginning of June 1265, and that this is how – as an adult – he came to hold political office. At that time, the inhabitants of the city were very divided among themselves and Dante took the “wrong” side in the Florentines’ fight against the annexation by the Papal States. In other words, he opposes the Pope’s loyalists, who win the “battle” for Florence. As a result, Dante was sentenced in absentia to a fine and, since he did not return to Florence to pay it, to death at the stake. In exile until the end of his life, he lived in Ravenna, but visited many other cities in central and northern Italy until his death in 1321, but never again Florence.

Dante – one of the great writers

Dante Alighieri

The famous beginning of the Divine Comedy

Dante Alighieri

Dante – one of the great writers

Dante owes his fame, however, not to his political role in this Florentine dispute but to his most famous work, the Divine Comedy (it. La Divina Commedia), which is generally regarded as the greatest work written in Italian and one of the greatest masterpieces of world literature. It is often mentioned in the same breath as Shakespeare, Moliere, and Goethe. Every Italian knows the beginning of the work “Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita”.

Dante Alighieri

Scenes from the Divine Comedy (series of stamps from Monaco)

Even today, this work written in verse – which I confess is difficult to digest – is still relevant. On the one hand, because it has shaped our view of the hereafter, and on the other hand, because it reminds us of the confusion and disorientation of the “midlife crisis”, a theme that is often taken up in today’s society.

So the Liechtenstein Post has now dedicated a special block to this man. The two stamps show pen drawings of a portrait of Dante Alighieri (CHF 3.70) and a “Writing Hand with Pen” (CHF 4.00). The souvenir sheet itself shows a scene from the “Divine Comedy”.

Issue: 700th anniversary of the death of Dante Alighieri

  • Value for tax/motif: CHF 3.70 Portrait of Dante Alighieri CHF 4.00 Writing hand with pen
  • Stamp size: 25 x 36 mm
  • Perforation: 14 x 12 ¾Dante Alighieri
  • Sheet size: 125 x 85 mm
  • Design: Thomas Giger, Seewis
  • Printing: Offset 4-colour CMYK + steel engraving Pant. 426 Royal Joh. Enschedé, Haarlem
  • Paper: Truwhite PVA 110 g/m2, gummed
  • Edition: 30 000 special blocks


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