Saturday, July 04, 2009

Late idea for the Jean Moulin stamp

Specialist of East center France and experienced firstdayer, Éric Contesse went back with a historical touristic report from the first day of sale of the stamp announcing the opening of a memorial to Jean Moulin, in the house in Caluire where the leader of the French Resistance was captured by the Gestapo.

The portrait used by engraver André Lavergne was the picture taken by Marcel Bernard during Winter 1939, in Montpellier :

In 1999, the City inaugurated a reminder (very high affixed) that remind where the now mythical image with hat and scarf was created. The plaque is located on the level under the water reservoir of the Peyrou garden when you are going by the south way to the Arceaux, that is the final part of the acqueduct.

I was waiting to see the stamp with my own eyes, not the informatic one sent to the press. The different treatment for the eyes embarrass me. And, like some other intaglio printed stamps of this June, I find the printing quite "light"... but I am not a printing specialist.

On the margin, six color markers.

The design of the two elements is heavily classic: the sadly known house of Doctor Dugoujon, place of the future memorial, and the portrait.

Thank to the GoogleMaps/Streetview link above, you can see the house despite a tree. By clicking along the "montée de la Castellane" street, you can detail the monument describe by Éric, on the Gouailhardou square, and its composition.

The first picture I saw of this monument to Jean Moulin, I discovered it on a 20 June 2009 article of Le Progrès, Lyon based newspaper.

(Photograph by Pierre Augros, Le Progrès, 20 June 2009 ;
reproduced here in a highly reduced size for illustrative purpose)

Very good picture: the observer took possession of the monument and found a part of the meaning placed (hidden?) by scluptor Christiane Guillaubey. Would you look at it very straightforward and saw the usual representation of Moulin? Or turn around these blocks of wall that conceal from the ennemy the resistant that get assured the meeting place is safe?

Reinterpreted by engraving, Pierre Augros' picture would become a postage stamp that would have be a complete "stamp of the nation", from its topic to the public including its message. A stamp that would have honored both Jean Moulin and all "the army in rags".

But that would have bumped into the classicism of the philatelic makers with the commercial fear to confuse the most faithful of collectors, even let more time for the artist to have a eventual research work. Yes, that must be simpler and less expensive to put a Greek letter...

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