- Issue date: 03/11/2017
- Printing Process: Offset
- Paper: Engomado
- Size of stamp: 40.9 x 28.8 mm
- Postal value of the stamps: 1.35 €
- Print run: 70.000
Animals in Art. Oxen. Altarpiece of Sant Miquel de Prats
This year, the stamp from the series “Animals in Art” features a small detail from the Altarpiece of Sant Miquel del Prats, with some oxen.
The motif appears in one of the upper panels of the altarpiece, depicting the “Apparition or miracle of Mount Gargano”, a piece from the late Gothic period, as attested by the profusion of gold leaf, although certain details seem to anticipate the Renaissance style, particularly the figures.
The altarpiece is considered one of the most important examples of 16th century painting in Andorra.
Until recently, the work had been attributed to an artist called the “Canillo Master”, but it has now been discovered that it was the combined work of two artists: the painter Miquel Ramells and the gilder Guy de Borgonyó.
Thanks to some documents found in the “Arxiu Nacional d’Andorra”, the authorship of the work was discovered and it was also possible to accurately date the time when it was completed, around the year 1530. The piece was completed with tempera and oil paint and gold leaf on pine wood panels.
The altarpiece was originally located in the 12th-century Romanesque church of Sant Miquel de Prats, in the Andorran parish of Canillo.
It is a representative example of the rural Andorran Romanesque style. With its thick walls formed by slabs of slate and austere in appearance, it has the unique feature of having being built on sloping terrain, so that the apse and part of the side walls are underground, with the exception of the main façade and entrance. Its small double belfry together with the Principality’s mountain landscape give the small church a special appeal.
In the early 20th century, the altarpiece was sold to an antiquarian who divided it up for resale. Some of the panels have been recovered in recent years and others are still missing.
The extant panels are “The Fall of the Rebel Angels”, the predella, and the panel from which the motif of this stamp has been taken, “The Apparition of Mount Gargano”, acquired in 2011 by Crèdit Andorrà and currently in its art collection.
The stamp includes a photograph by the Andorran photographer Jordi Tena, who has dedicated part of his work to taking photographs of the real, fantastic or mythological animals present in the artistic imagery of the Principality.