02 March 2012

Friday Inspiration: timbres d'art

Albrecht Dürer, Self Portrait at 22, 1493

Leonardo Da Vinci, Portrait of  Isabella D'Este, 1500

Amedeo Modigliani, Femme Aux Yeux Bleus (Woman with Blue Eyes), 1918

The last time I was in Paris I found these stamps at the Marche aux Timbres et Cartes-Postales, the stamp and vintage postcard market made famous by Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn in 1963's Charade. The vendor gave them to me for next to nothing, they are not rare or valuable, but I fell in love with the tiny little renderings of the paintings. Each stamp measures a mere 1.625 x 2.125" (or 4 x 5 cm) and has the most exquisite level of detail and a full palette. 

I've always loved Dürer's Self Portrait at 22, in which he is holding a thistle. It was the first painting I saw at the Louvre that really made me stop and pause. It was tucked away in a quiet gallery which I found by accident the first time and found by memory a couple years later when I went back.