- Issue date: 22/10/2009
- Printing Process: Huecograbado
- Paper: Estucado, engomado, fosforescente
- Size of stamp: 40,9 x 28,8 mm. (horizontales) Sellos hoja bloque: 57,6 x 40,9 mm. (horizontal)
- Size of block sheet: 105,6 x 150 mm. (vertical)
- Sheet effects: 50
- Postal value of the stamps: 0,62 y 0,78 €
- Print run: Sellos: 310.000 de cada hoja. Hoja bloque: 300.000
- Dented: 13 3/4
- Date of edition: 22/10/2009
Painting is the theme chosen by Spain and Austria for their joint issue depicting Velazquez’s princess Margarita Teresa, a common figure that historically linked both countries. The souvenir sheet issued by Correos is made up of two stamps one depicting a portrait of Infanta Margarita Teresa in a Blue Dress and the other depicting this same princess featuring as the central figure in Velázquez’s masterpiece Las Meninas.
Princess Margarita Teresa was born in Madrid in 1651 and was the daughter of king Philip IV of Spain and Marianna of Austria. She became Empress of the Holy Roman Empire by her arranged marriage to her maternal uncle, Leopold I. There are other pictures of her, also painted by Velázquez at various stages of her childhood, These portraits were usually sent by King Philip IV to the court of Vienna in order to keep Leopold apprised of how young Margarita Teresa looked and how she was doing at the distant Spanish court. Margarita Teresa of Austria died in childbirth in Vienna in 1673 at the early age of 22, when delivering her daughter Anna of Austria.
The second stamp that makes up this joint issue depicts the Infanta Margarita Teresa in a Blue Dress painted in 1659, a year before Velazquez’s death. It is a court portrait featuring an eight year old princess, in a dark blue and silver dress, with gold braids and a golden band. The girl has a pale, solemn countenance and blond hair enhanced by the dark background. This oil on canvas painting belongs to the Museum of Art History of Vienna (Kunsthistorisches Museum), whilst Las Meninas, painted by Velázquez in 1656 belongs to the Prado Museum in Madrid. In this painting, princess Margarita appears surrounded by different characters, including the painter, who are being watched by Philip IV and Marianna of Austria reflected on a mirror. The princess was five years old at the time and is dressed in a farthingale and cream and grey skirt.