Dante on Stamps

Dante on StampsDante on Stamps is a web archive by Christopher D. Cook that collects appearances of Dante on postage stamps – “an authoritative resource and comprehensive catalog of postage stamps, first day covers, cancellations, and other philatelic items depicting the medieval Italian poet Dante Alighieri.”

“As a canonical figure in literature, Dante and his Commedia are popular themes on postage stamps. The first appearance of Dante on a postage stamp occurred in 1921, the 600th anniversary of his death, when Italy issued a set of three stamps featuring iconography from the Commedia and a portrait of the poet. Dante-themed postage stamps proliferated in 1965 and 1966 when more than a dozen countries celebrated the 700th anniversary of his birth. Other occasional issues have appeared since 1965, most recently in November 2011. This website includes philatelic items that either depict Dante himself or that depict themes directly associated with the poet (for example, publication anniversaries or scenes from the Commedia).”    —Dante on Stamps


Venus Febriculosa’s Dante Initiative


In 1965, the occasion of the 700th anniversary of the birth of Dante was marked in the United States (as elsewhere, including, of course, Italy) by the issuance of a commemorative postage stamp.

Fifty years on, in recognition of Dante’s 750th birthday*, we are pleased to introduce The New Dante Initiative which will explore the legacy and meaning of Dante’s life and work through art and design in the form of a new conceptual/hypothetical commemorative postage stamp. We are issuing an open call for submissions in addition to inviting established artists and graphic designers to participate.

The New Dante Initiative is a collaborative venture between Venus FebriculosaMarco Sonzogni (Victoria University of Wellington), and artists, designers, scholars, and institutions, culminating in the projected publication of a book.