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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tolstoy and Chekhov on new stamps by Vatican

Vatican has issued a set of postage stamps dedicated to Great Russian writers Anton Chekhov and Leo Tolstoy and their masterpieces.

The stamps show works by graphic artist and painter, Marco Ventura, known in the philatelic world for his series on angels released in 2007 by the Britain's Royal Mail. The artist depicts Chekhov seated on a stage as a spectator viewing an ideal representation of Three Sisters and The Cherry Garden. He also shows a seraphic of Tolstoy in a snow-covered countryside in War and Peace as he is observed by Anna Karenina.

Anton Pavlovich Chekhov is considered to be one of the greatest playwrights of all time for his works in giving a voice to the psychological dramas affecting Russians at the end of the century. Considered one of the indisputable masters of the short story, he dedicated his work to this type of narrative form until he started writing for theatre. His universally recognized works, still performed today, include: Three Sisters, The Cherry Orchard, The Seagull, Uncle Vanya. His great friend and role model was Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy, known for his great historical novels, such as War and Peace and Anna Karenina. His interest in history and the search for God are recurring themes in almost all his works. The two great authors both focus the same attention on the interior world and the unrest among the poorest and most oppressed in Russia. Chekhov focused on the existential reality of the individual, while Tolstoy added a wider historical context.

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