Poste San Marino | Ufficio Filatelico Numismatico San Marino

San Marino

10 November 2020

Christmas 2020

Technical Specifications:

Printing: 4 colour offset, a Pantone and yellow fluorescent invisible ink by Cartor Security Printing
Perforation: 14 x 14
Date Of Issue: 10 11 2020
Value: a souvenir sheet made up of 1 value of €3.50
Print Run: 30.000

Christmas
Code: 706
The souvenir sheet shows the altarpiece by Girolamo Marchesi at the Museum Pinacoteca San Francesco in San Marino. The painting shows the Virgin Mary with Jesus, Saint Marino, Saint John Baptist, Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint Catherine of Alexandria. By concession of: Convento San Francesco, San Marino.


At Christmas, San Marino is embellished with lights, decorations and street markets.

Throughout the month of December and January there is the Christmas Wonderland – Natale delle Meraviglie, Traditional Christmas event with many opportunities for recreation, entertainment and shopping, including shows, markets, workshops and games for the kids.


The Church of St Francesco (Chiesa di San Francesco) is considered the oldest church of San Marino. An insignia on the entrance in Gothic letters indicates that the church was already under construction in 1361. Presumably, it was finished in the early 15th century. The original building, a monastery, was originally located in the district of Murata, but it was relocated in order to improve protection against the invading Malatesta. The Maestri Comacini used materials of the old monastery were used for the construction. A masoned rose window is located in the midst of the facade. The inside of the Church of St Francesco features, inter alia, a copper shrine by Romolo Mulazzani and pictures of saints by Ciro Parisa. The church got its current appearance in 1792.

The museum with pinacotheca, the Museo-Pinacoteca San Francesco opened in 1966, is located in the cloister, where a collection of frescos and paintings from the 15th to 18th century on display, including “Saint Francesco”, which Father Lodovico Gelli had painted by Guercino in 1646. Furthermore exhibited are works by Timoteo Viti and paintings from the schools of the Marches and Umbria. The monastic library is home to various codices, manuscripts plus several theological and philosophical writings from the 15th and 16th century.


Girolamo Marchesi (c. 1471 – 1550) was an Italian painter of the Renaissance period. Born in Cotignola, whence his nickname of Girolamo da Cotignola, he trained early on with Francesco Francia in Bologna, then in Rome under Raphael. He then traveled to Naples where he was patronized by the Florentine merchant Tommaso Cambi. According to Giorgio Vasari, he married a woman of ill repute there.

In Ferrara he left an Adoration of the Magi, and in the church of Santa Maria in Vado, a painting of two saints (1518). He painted with Biagio Pappini in San Michele in Bosco in Bologna. In Rimini, he painted with Benedetto Coda and Lattanzio della Marca, but the location and fate of those paintings can is unknown. He also painted in Forlì and Pesaro. In the Pinacoteca Civica di Forlì there are: La Madonna con il Bambino tra due angeli, San Mercuriale, il Battista e il committente (or Pala Orsi) and Portrait of a man. His Entombment of Christ is today part of the collections of the Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille. In Naples, he worked in San Aniello and in Monte Oliveto.



Madonna and Child with St. John the Baptist and St. Paul*
Girolamo Marchesi ca. 1524-25

In the distance, a divine light knocks Saul of Tarsus the persecutor of Christians, off his horse on the road to Damascus.  He converts and becomes St. Paul, represented in the foreground and accompanied by St. John the Baptist.  Above, the Virgin Mary rests her foot on a small crescent moon.  The symbol is an early instance of the iconography of the Immaculate Conception.

The Emilian artist Girolamo Marchesi painted this work during his sojourn in Naples for the Church of Sant’Anellio a Caponapoli.  The full-length figure of St. Paul alludes to his Emilian roots by emulating Raphael’s depiction of the apostle in his only Bolognese work, the Santa Cecilia altarpiece. According to Vasari, Girolamo was swindled of the money he earned in Naples by friends in Rome.

*NOTE:  While this is not the same work depicted on San Marino’s Christmas souvenir sheet of 2020, it is the only work by Girolamo Marchesi that I could find information on.

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