Stamp issue information

Christmas 2010 - Mariahilf Ceiling Frescos

Face value CHF 1.40
Motif Candlemas
Face value CHF 0.85
Motif Annunciation
Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Face value CHF 1.00
Motif Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

In idyllic surroundings in the Mäls district of the Balzers community there stands a chapel about whose origins little is known, although its praises are sung in many poems and it is used as a popular wedding chapel. One legend tells of a dragon which brought added difficulty to the penurious lives of the people of Mäls. In their distress the farmers vowed that they would build a chapel to the Blessed Virgin if she would rid them of the dragon. Another tradition refers to the battle fought on 5th January 1289 between Friedrich von Montfort, Bishop of Chur, and his cousin, the imperially minded Count Hugo von Werdenberg. It is from this time that the earliest foundations date. The first structure of any size was built in 1690, when the Maria-Hilf Chapel had become a popular place of pilgrimage. This building was followed by others in 1720, 1842/46 and 1895. The chapel was given its present-day appearance by the extensive renovation of 1945. 

A distinctive feature of the chapel are the three large ceiling paintings, whose authorship is likewise unknown. The paintings with their rustically rendered figures may have originated in the middle of the 19th century when a new roof structure was built. The ceiling paintings were renovated in 1945 and refreshed in 1977. 

Executed in bold colours, the ceiling paintings portray three biblical scenes from the life of St. Mary: the ceiling picture “Visitation of Mary” (face value CHF 1.00) in the chancel is still in the original circular, moulded golden yellow framing. The nave ceiling is decorated with the scene “Presentation of Jesus” (face value CHF 1.40), painted in a rectangular frame, and a portrayal of the Annunciation (face value CHF 0.85) in horizontally oval framing. For the design of this year’s Christmas stamps the graphic artist Cornelia Eberle has set all three ceiling paintings in a standard gilt frame modelled on the framing of the “Annunciation” picture.

Date Of Issue
15. November 2010
Cornelia Eberle, Ruggell
Stamp format
34.5 x 30 mm
14 x 14
Sheet format
208 x 146 mm
Rastertiefdruck, Österreichische
Staatsdruckerei GmbH, Wien

Tullis Russel, Chancellor, 102gm²,
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