Monday, December 5, 2011

EUROPA CEPT 1982 - Historic Events - Finland 29.4.1982

These two lovely stamps and the first day cover were issued on 29.4.1982 to commemorate significant historical events in Finland’s History. The 1.20 stamp is of the statue of Mikael Agricola is in front of the Turku Cathedral. Mikael Agricola, and the Publication of Abc-kirja Abc-book, (1st Finnish book), 1543. The Sculpture of Mikael Agricola translator, is by Oskari Jauhiainen, 1951, and the cover of Agricola's Abckiria.. The 1.50 stamp Fresco depicts the Turku Academy, 1st Finnish university. (Turku Academy Inaugural Procession, 1640, fresco originally painted by Albert Edelfelt. Repainted by Johannes Gebhard after it was destroyed in WWII. Pia gave me this historic FDC.
Now, what was the Abckiria? Abckiria (also sometimes spelled ABC-kiria, and spelled "ABC-kirja" in modern Finnish), in English "The ABC book", is the first book that was published in the Finnish language. It was written by Mikael Agricola, a bishop and Lutheran Reformer, and was first published in 1543. Agricola wrote the book while working on the first Finnish translation of the New Testament (which was eventually finished in 1548 as Se Wsi Testamenti). Abckiria was a primer meant to teach the basics of reading and writing. It contains the alphabet, some spelling exercises, and catechism. The first edition had 16 pages. The second edition, which was written in 1551, had 24 pages. No complete copies of either are known to exist, but general contents of the book have been discerned from the existing material.
Edelfelt, Albert (1854 - 1905). Albert Edelfelt was one of the most important Finnish visual artists of all time. He was above all a painter, but he also worked as a graphic artist and illustrator. In his era he was the most respected Finnish artist abroad. He was also in his time the undisputed leading figure in Finnish art. As a popular portraitist at European courts, he was of much greater social importance than other artists. Above all, he helped to lay the foundations for Finland's cultural prestige abroad.
The mural in the Great Hall of the University of Helsinki took up a considerable portion of Edelfelt's career. A competition was held in 1891 and resulted in Edelfelt's winning the commission for the main picture, Turun akatemian vihkiäiset ('The Inauguration of Turku Academy'). (The Turku Academy was the direct predecessor of the University of Helsinki.) He had researched the subject during his many trips abroad, but he did not complete the painting until 1904. It was an impressive finale to his career as a historical painter. Unfortunately the work was destroyed during the bombing in 1944.

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