Virgin Mary with Christ Child and St. John the Baptist (1973) Norval Morrisseau

Virgin Mary with Christ Child and St. John the Baptist
Norval Morrisseau
1973 , 40″x32″

This year, Canada Post Corporation’s annual Christmas set features the works of four native Canadian artists. Each one has depicted the nativity or the origin of human life according to their particular cultural beliefs. Jackson Beardy’s “Rebirth” (Cree) is seen on the 34¢ GREET MORE stamp. It is a rendering of the beginnings of life and its cycles of existence.

On the 39¢ domestic rate, Norval Morrisseau (Ojibwa) “nativizes” a classic Christian image in his painting “Virgin Mary with Christ Child and St. John the Baptist.” The green stone sculpture, “Mother and Child”, created by a Cape Dorset Inuit artist (believed to be Lutka Qiatsuk), is featured on the 45¢ U.S. rate design. And the 78¢ international rate stamp uses Bill Reid’s serigraph on paper, “Children of the Raven”, portraying the first human beings entering the world according to Haida belief. Montreal graphic designer Clermont Malenfant put distinctive backgrounds of metallic colours, textile, blanket or tapestry patterns from each artist’s culture together with the artwork and the appropriate translation of the Christmas wish “Peace on Earth”.

Canada Post Corporation.
1990.