|Face value||CHF 1.00|
|Motif||Christ’s Descent from the Cross|
|Face value||CHF 1.40|
|Motif||Christ on the Mount of Olives|
This issue, on which two reliefs by the Italian artist Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi (1656 –1740) are reproduced, continues the “Princely Treasures” series with two more precious objects from the Princely Collection. Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi, who had his own workshop on the ground floor of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, was actually a trained medallist, but in the late 17th century was deemed the best bronze founder in Europe. For the great art collector and patron of the arts Prince Johann Adam Andreas I of Liechtenstein (1662 –1712) he made a series of bronze copies based on masterpieces in the Florentine collections. The two reliefs depicted on the stamps have however come into the possession of the House of Liechtenstein only in the last ten years. The 1710/20 terracotta relief (60.5 x 48.5 cm) depicting “Christ’s Descent from the Cross” (face value CHF 1.00) was acquired by Prince Hans-Adam II von und zu Liechtenstein in 2005. To date there is no known bronze casting of this example of high baroque sculpture. Earlier, in 2003, Prince Hans-Adam purchased the bronze relief “Christ on the Mount of Olives” (65 x 44.5 cm), which was probably cast in about 1722. In 1695 Soldani-Benzi sent Prince Johann Adam a wax model of the proposed relief for his inspection. The image shows an unusual iconography for which there is no precedent in the Gospel: Christ, after passing the night before his arrest awake praying in the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives, is shown passing out in the arms of two angels. The artist recommended to his patron that the relief be made in gilt bronze; this would have worked well as a devotional image, ideally hung at a bedside. The stamps are printed by a steel engraving / offset combination designed by Adolf Tuma. The stamps are being issued in sheetlets of nine stamps each.
Österreichische Staatsdruckerei GmbH, Wien