Croatian Post will issue a new commemorative postage stamp dedicated to Easter on March 30, 2022.
The motif on this year’s Easter stamp is a painting of the Calvary by an unknown author dating from the 18th century, and was discovered in the Franciscan monastery in Čakovec.
The author of the stamp is Dean Roksandić, a designer from Zagreb.
Academician Željka Čorak wrote the text on the occasion of the release of the new commemorative stamp.
This year’s Easter stamp of the Croatian Post features a painting of the Calvary by an unknown painter from the 18th century. century. Today it is in the Franciscan monastery in Čakovec, and it originates from the former Pauline monastery of St. Helena near Čakovec.
A number of famous painters worked in the Pauline order, but, as Mirjana Repanić Braun says, in continental Croatia one cannot find a comparison of this painting among their works: it probably came from the middle.
The painting is very dramatic, both with convulsive, vertical composition, and the conflicts of light and darkness. One would say that in a remote landscape, in a vast dark sky, in the “darkness that has taken over all the land”, the language of a completely different time retains the spirit of Tintoretto’s inventions.
But what is most unusual about this painting is the fact that in the foreground, as the basis of the whole scene, there is something shaped between the altar with the tabernacle and the leafy capital of a pillar: the architectural element on which the living scene takes place as a theatrical scene.
Indeed, the whole Calvary, continuing on that central pillar, seems to be losing its real ground under its feet. There is a real fusion between the inhabitants of heaven (below) and the inhabitants of earth (above).
Everything is shifted here, everything can be read as an inversion, everything is mixed, and torment and triumph, and human and supernatural, and present and future. It is as if the load-bearing architectural element changes the scale of the scene, transforming the realism of the world into the illusionism of the stage. Perhaps the painter said more in an unusual way than he had originally intended.
Let’s say that with the future foreground he relativized the darkness of the other. Death is the dark side of life, and resurrection is the bright side of death.
These sides are constantly changing in order. In anni circulo (“in the circle of the year”), or in vitae circulo (“in the circle of life”) Good Friday, Easter and Christmas differ only in frame. Where Calvary ends, the manger begins. And vice versa.
The painter of Calvary from Čakovec “framed” his scene not only with the boundaries of the painting, but with the boundaries of content. Namely, he also painted the boundaries of torment. He actually painted Good Friday, Easter and Christmas at the same time. The painter portrayed time as a soluble substance. The invisible compositional scheme of the painting is a circle. That is why the seemingly dark sky of this picture sends a bright message.