The Swiss graphic artist, painter, cartoonist and writer Oskar Weiss is no stranger to Liechtenstein. As far back as 2005 he produced the EUROPA stamp on the theme “Gastronomy”, followed in 2006 by “Music / Famous works” and in 2007 by “Tempi and Temperament”. In the same spirit as the 2006 series, in which famous musical works such as Mozart’s “Magic Flute” and Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” were humorously illustrated, this series presents “Famous figures from classical literature” (face value CHF 1.00). These are literary figures which have appealed primarily to young readers and which owe some of their celebrity to splendid and high-budget film versions.
The North German prankster “Till Eulenspiegel” appeared anonymously as early as 1510/1512. Nowadays he is familiar principally in Erich Kästner’s rendition. The figure of the fantasist “Baron Münchhausen” goes back to Hieronymus Carl Friedrich Baron von Münchhausen (1720–1797), who was wellknown as a humorous story-teller. “Robin Hood” is a 13th century English folk hero whose fight with the Sheriff of Nottingham has provided material for countless children’s books. Two other figures from the Anglo-Saxon world are the master detective “Sherlock Holmes” (1887 onwards) created by the Scottish author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the castaway “Robinson Crusoe” (1719) created by the Londoner Daniel Dafoe. “Hamlet” (1603), the tragic hero of the eponymous tragedy by William Shakespeare, is one of the theatre world’s most famous roles. The Spaniard Miguel de Cervantes gave us “Don Quixote” (1605/1615), the Knight of the Woeful Countenance”, while “Quasimodo” was the tragic hero of the novel “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1831) by the French writer Victor Hugo.