08 June 2020
SEPAC 2020 — Artwork From The National Collection
Date Of Issue: 08 Jun 2020
Designer: Drawings by Edward Caruana Dingli – Courtesy of Heritage Malta
Perforation: 13.9x 14.0 comb
Sheet: Set of 2 stamps
Denominations: 30c – 50c
Watermark: Maltese Crosses
Size: Sheet size – 115mm x 182mm Stamp size – 31mm x 44mm
The theme for the annual stamp issue of SEPAC, the Small European Postal Administration Cooperations , is ‘Artworks in the National Collection’.
In line with this theme, MaltaPost’s recent SEPAC issue features a pair of stamps depicting artworks by Edward Caruana Dingli – one of Malta’s foremost painters of the early 20th century. The original paintings are exhibited at MUZA, the National Community Art Museum of Malta.
One stamp features a lady wearing the ‘ghonnella’ – a traditional headdress unique to Malta and Gozo. Made of silk or cotton, it was usually dark in colour and covered the frame but not the face of the wearer. Its use petered out in the 1950’s.
The next stamp features the annual procession of Corpus Christi as it snakes past the façade of St. John’s co-Cathedral in Valletta. Sombre in intent yet festive in spirit, the artist successfully captures a moment in time. Painted in 1927, it illustrates to perfection Caruana Dingli’s style.
Edward Caruana Dingli hailed from a family of painters. He made an early career in the army following which he became a full-time painter. From 1919-47 he was to occupy the post of Principal of the Malta School of Arts in Valletta, teaching and mentoring many of the younger generation of painters such as Anton Inglott, E.V. Cremona, Willie Apap and Victor Diacono, among others.
His works portray many of the typical scenes associated with Malta at the turn of the 20th century – market scenes, rural landscapes, water-sellers, processions, church interiors and street scenes. He was also very much in demand as a portrait painter quickly becoming the ‘de facto’ portraitist for prominent gentlemen and high society ladies.
Caruana Dingli was also responsible for the design of stamps including the iconic 1922 Melita stamp issue. This year also happens to be the 70th anniversary of his passing.
Edward Caruana Dingli (1876-1950) Woman Wearing Ghonnella:
Edward Caruana Dingli (1876-1950) Corpus Christi Procession:
Full Sheets of 10 Stamps Each:
First Day Cover: