I regret not to be a better photograph.
Following Dominique's investigative study for the Blog philatélie and Timbres magazine last second semester 2008, I followed the trail of a photographic inspiration for the Palais des Papes stamp to the website of a picture agency.
Martin Mörck interpreted in engraving a panorama of the palace of the popes in Avignon, Southern France, for a touristic stamp of France to be issued next Monday 9 March 2009, with a first day of sale this week-end. This panorama is credited like that in the current issue of Timbres magazine: "D'après photo © C. GUY/hemis.fr".
Up up up, hemis.fr on Google and hop: the "Creative and Travel Imagery" website appeared. The pictures on the front page let me dream :)
In the search engine: "palais des papes guy". Hop again: the creations of Mister Christian Guy picturing the historical buildings. And I bet on picture #125059 from the orientation, the small buildings in front of the palace and the vegetation.
If pictures are free of rights on the site, this one is on "managed rights": the agency sell the rights in the name of the artist. You have to be registered, but the form for a access code must be filled with many compulsory intels from your company's name and your telephone number. That supposed clients from the professional editing sector... including Phil@poste looking for pictures to inspire the engraver. The practic is not uncommon in France: the artist can not design from nothing and can certainly not travel each time a stamp is ordered.
Contrary to the stamp for the Paris Summit for Mediterranea, there is an creative artistic act in this stamp. Second difference, the Nordic Mörck did not level the Sea up to Avignon... but he put the palace back to Middle Age, blessed era before the reciprocating engine.