Maltapost's Philatelic Bureau will mark the 400th anniversary of Caravaggio's arrival in Malta by issuing a set of stamps on July 20.

The set, which has been designed in-house, consists of two stamps and a miniature sheet.

The 5c/€0.12 stamp depicts St Jerome. The stamp having a face value of 29c/€0.68 shows a detail from The Beheading of St John. The miniature sheet, with a face value of Lm2/€4.66, shows the full painting of The Beheading of St John.

Italian painter Michelangelo Merisi is generally referred to as Caravaggio, the name of a small city in Lombardy where he was born in 1573.

It was truly a stroke of fortune for Malta that in the relatively short period of his sojourn here he created two masterpieces, namely, The Beheading Of St John The Baptist and St Jerome, both intended to adorn the interior of the then conventual church of St John. The first shows the beginning of the artist's name formed with the blood trickling from the saint's neck.

The set of stamps and miniature sheet will be available in mint or cancelled format, and as souvenir folders and presentation packs. They can be purchased from all Maltapost postal retail outlets, from the Maltapost mobile unit and from the Philatelic Bureau.

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