Tuesday, November 27, 2012

World Refugee Year

Issued by Iceland on April 7, 1960, to bring attention to World Refugee Year (7/1/59 - 6/30/60), this complete set of two mint stamps features "The Outlaw," a work of the Icelandic artist Einar Jonsson.

Einar Jónsson
 (May 11, 1874 – October 18, 1954) was an Icelandic Sculptor,   born in Galtafell, a farm in southern Iceland.  Einar Jonsson was a groundbreaking voice amongst his contemporaries. A great connoisseur of myths, he was a maverick figure with an oneiric imagination and an earnest believer in an all-embracing symbolism.
Jonsson showed Outlaws for the first time in 1901 at the Spring Salon in Copenhagen. The artwork focuses on a presumed criminal who runs away with his dead wife on his shoulders, his half-sleepy son gently hugging his neck and a loyal dog that follows them. The outlaw wants to bury his bride, but to fulfil his will, acting as a Scandinavian Antigone, he needs to go against the norm and therefore become a criminal.    
Jonsson confessed he wanted to tell a story about people living at society’s margins in critical conditions. The artwork is a sui generis Pietà, where the dead body is not lying at the bottom of the composition and the mourners are not crying or paralysed in a dramatic stasis, but are instead on the move, actively reacting to their despair. The viewer can feel the family’s fatigue which is masterly symbolized by the outlaw’s face: it’s contracted and in tension, fighting against the physically demanding and emotionally oppressing strain.
Thank you Maria for this nice cover.

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